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Title: The Automobile Storage Battery - Its Care And Repair
Author: Witte, Otto A.
Language: English
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A practical book for the repairman. Gives in nontechnical language,
the theory, construction, operation, manufacture, maintenance, and
repair of the lead-acid battery used on the automobile. Describes at
length all subjects which help the repairman build up a successful
battery repair business. Also contains sections on radio and farm
lighting batteries.

Chief Engineer, American Bureau of Engineering, Inc.


Third Edition
Completely Revised and Enlarged
Fourth Impression
Published 1922 by


Copyright, 1918, 1919, 1920, and 1922, by
American Bureau of Engineering, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.


Entered at Stationers' Hall,
London, England.

First Impression April, 1918.
Second Impression December, 1919.
Third Impression October, 1920.
Fourth Impression September, 1922.



Many books have been written on Storage Batteries used in stationary
work, as in electric power stations. The storage battery, as used on
the modern gasoline car, however, is subjected to service which is
radically different from that of the battery in stationary work. It is
true that the chemical actions are the same in all lead-acid storage
batteries, but the design, construction, and operation of the starting
and lighting battery, the radio battery, and the farm lighting battery
are unique, and require a special description.

Many books have been written on Storage Batteries used in stationary
work, as in electric power stations. The storage battery, as used on
the modern gasoline car, however, is subjected to service which is
radically different from that of the battery in stationary work. It is
true that the chemical actions are the same in all lead-acid storage
batteries, but the design, construction, and operation of the starting
and lighting battery, the radio battery, and the farm lighting battery
are unique, and require a special description.

This book therefore refers only to the lead-acid type of starting and
lighting battery used on the modern gasoline Automobile, the batteries
used with Radio sets, and the batteries used with Farm Lighting
Plants. It is divided into two sections. The first section covers the
theory, design, operating conditions, and care of the battery.

The second section will be especially valuable to the battery
repairman. All the instructions given have been in actual use for
years, and represent the accumulated experiences of the most
up-to-date battery repair shops in the United States.

The first edition of this book met with a most pleasing reception from
both repairmen and battery manufacturers. It was written to fill the
need for a complete treatise on the Automobile Storage Battery for the
use of battery repairmen. The rapid sale of the book, and the letters
of appreciation from those who read it, proved that such a need

The automobile battery business is a growing one, and one in which new
designs and processes are continually developed, and in preparing the
second and third editions, this has been kept in mind. Some of the
chapters have been entirely rewritten, and new chapters have been
added to bring the text up-to-date. Old methods have been discarded,
and new ones described. A section on Farm lighting Batteries has been
added, as the automobile battery man should familiarize himself with
such batteries, and be able to repair them. A section on Radio
batteries has also been added.

Special thanks are due those who offered their cooperation in the
preparation and revision of the book. Mr. George M. Howard of the
Electric Storage Battery Co., and Mr. C. L. Merrill of the U. S. Light
& Heat Corporation very kindly gave many helpful suggestions. They
also prepared special articles which have been incorporated in the
book. Mr. Henry E. Peers consulted with the author and gave much
valuable assistance. Mr. Lawrence Pearson of the Philadelphia Battery
Co., Mr. F. S. Armstrong of the Vesta Accumulator Co., Messrs. P. L.
Rittenhouse, E. C. Hicks and W. C. Brooks of the Prest-O-Lite Co., Mr.
D. M. Simpson of the General Lead Batteries Co., Mr. R. D. Mowray and
Mr. C. R. Story of the Universal Battery Co., Mr. H. A. Harvey of the
U. S. Light and Heat Corporation, Mr. E. B. Welsh of the Westinghouse
Union Battery Co., Mr. S. E. Baldwin of the Willard Storage Battery
Co., Mr. H. H. Ketcham of the United Y. M. C. A. Schools, and Messrs.
Guttenberger and Steger of the American Eveready Works also rendered
much valuable assistance.

The Chapter on Business Methods was prepared by Mr. G. W. Hafner.

Chief Engineer, American Bureau of Engineering, Inc.
September, 1922




Gasoline and electricity have made possible the modern automobile.
Steps in development of electrical system of automobile. Sources of
electricity on the automobile.


The Simple Battery, or Voltaic Cell. Chemical Actions which Cause a
Cell to Produce Electricity. Difference between Primary and Secondary,
or Storage Cells. A Storage Battery Does Not "Store" Electricity.
Parts Required to Make a Storage Battery.


Principal Parts of a "Starting and Lighting" Battery. Types of Plates
Used. Molding the Plate Grids. Trimming the Grids. Mixing Pastes.
Applying Pastes to the Plate Grids. Hardening the Paste. Forming the
Plates. Types of Separators. Manufacture of Separators. Manufacture of
Electrolyte. Composition and Manufacture of Jars. Types of Cell
Covers. Single and Double Covers. Covers Using Sealing Compound Around
the Cell Posts. Covers Using Lead Bushings Around the Cell Posts. The
Prest-O-Lite Peened Post Seal. Batteries Using Sealing Nuts Around
Cell Posts. Construction of Vent Tubes. Exide and U. S. L. Vent Tube
Design. Vent Plugs, or Caps. Manufacture of the Battery Case.
Assembling and Sealing the Battery. Terminal Connections. Preparing
the Completed Battery for "Wet" Shipment. Preparing the Completed
Battery for "Dry" Shipment. "Home-Made" Batteries.


Chemical Changes in the Battery. Plante's Work on the Storage Battery.
Faure, or Pasted Plates. How Battery Produces Electricity. Chemical
Actions of Charge and Discharge. Relations Between Chemical Actions
and Electricity.


What a "Discharge" Consists of. Voltage Changes During Discharge. Why
the Discharge Is Stopped When the Cell Voltage Has Dropped to 1.7 on
Continuous Discharge. Why a Battery May Safely be Discharged to a
Lower Voltage Than 1.7 Volts per Cell at High Rates of Discharge. Why
Battery Voltage, Measured on "Open Circuit" is of Little Value.
Changes in the Density of the Electrolyte. Why Specific Gravity
Readings of the Electrolyte Show the State of Charge of a Cell.
Conditions Which Make Specific Gravity Readings Unreliable. Why the
Specific Gravity of the Electrolyte Falls During Discharge. Why the
Discharge of a Battery Is Stopped When the Specific Gravity Has
Dropped to 1.150. Chemical Changes at the Negative Plates During
Discharge. Chemical Changes at the Positive Plates During Discharge.


Voltage Changes During Charge. Voltage of a Fully Charged Cell.
Changes in the Density of the Electrolyte During Charge. Changes at
the Negative Plates During Charge. Changes at the Positive Plates
During Charge.


Definition of Capacity. Factors Upon Which the Capacity of a Battery
Depend. How the Area of the Plate Surfaces Affects the Capacity. How
the Quantity, Arrangement, and Porosity of the Active Materials Affect
the Capacity. How the Quantity and Strength of the Electrolyte Affect
the Capacity. Why Too Much Electrolyte Injures a Battery. Why the
Proportions of Acid and Water in the Electrolyte Must Be Correct if
Specific Gravity Readings Are to Be Reliable.


Effect of Internal Resistance. Resistance of Grids. Resistance of
Electrolyte. Resistance of Active Materials.


Care of Battery Box. How to Clean the Battery. How to Prevent
Corrosion. Correct Battery Cable Length. Inspection of Battery to
Determine Level of Electrolyte. How to Add Water to Replace
Evaporation. When Water Should Be Added. How Electrolyte Is Lost.
Danger from Adding Acid Instead of Water. Effect of Adding Too Much
Water. When Specific Gravity Readings Should Be Taken. What the
Various Specific Gravity Readings Indicate. Construction of a Syringe
Hydrometer. How to Take Specific Gravity Readings. Why Specific
Gravity Readings Should Not Be Taken Soon After Adding Water to
Replace Evaporation. Troubles Indicated by Specific Gravity Readings.
How to Make Sure That Sections of a Multiple-Section Battery Receive
the Same Charging Current. How Temperature Affects Specific Gravity
Readings. How to Make Temperature Corrections in Specific Gravity
Readings. Battery Operating Temperatures. Effect of Low and High
Temperatures. Troubles Indicated by High Temperatures. Damage Caused
by Allowing Electrolyte to Fall Below Tops of Plates. I-low to Prevent
Freezing. Care of Battery When Not in Use. "Dope" or "Patent"
Electrolyte, or Battery Solutions.


Normal and Injurious Sulphation.-- How Injurious Sulphate Forms. Why An
Idle Battery Becomes Sulphated. Why Sulphated Plates Must Be Charged
at a Low Rate. How Over discharge Causes Sulphation. How Starvation
Causes Sulphation. How Sulphate Results from Electrolyte Being Below
Tops of Plates. How Impurities Cause Sulphation. How Sulphation
Results from Adding Acid Instead of Water to Replace Evaporation. Why
Adding Acid Causes Specific Gravity Readings to Be Unreliable. How
Overheating Causes Sulphation.

Buckling.-How Overdischarge Causes Buckling. How Continued Operation
with Battery in a Discharged Condition Causes Buckling. I-low Charging
at High Rates Causes Buckling, How Non-Uniform Distribution of Current
Over the Plates Causes Buckling. How Defective Grid Alloy Causes

Shedding, or Loss of Active Material.-- Normal Shedding. How Excessive
Charging Rate, or Overcharging Causes Shedding. How Charging Sulphated
Plates at Too High a Rate Causes Shedding. How Charging Only a Portion
of the Plate Causes Shedding. How Freezing Causes Shedding. How
Overdischarge Causes Loose Active Material. How Buckling Causes Loose
Active Material.

Impurities.-- Impurities Which Cause Only Self-Discharge. Impurities
Which Attack the Plates. How to Remove Impurities. Corroded Grids.-How
Impurities Cause Corroded Grids. How Sulphation Causes Corroded Grids.
How High Temperatures Cause Corroded Grids. How High Specific Gravity
Causes Corroded Grids. How Age Causes Corroded Grids.

Negatives.-- How Age and Heat Cause Granulated Negatives. Heating of
Charged Negatives When Exposed to the Air. Negatives with Very Hard
Active Material. Bulged Negatives. Negatives with Soft, Mushy, Active
Material. Negatives with Rough Surfaces. Blistered Negatives.

Positives.-- Frozen Positives. Rotten, Disintegrated Positives. Buckled
Positives. Positives Which Have Lost Considerable Active Material.
Positives with Soft Active Material. Positives with Hard, Shiny Active
Material. Plates Which Have Been Charged in the Wrong Direction.

Separator Troubles.-- Separators Not Properly Expanded Before
Installation. Improperly Treated Separators. Rotten and Carbonized
Separators. Separators with Clogged Pores. Separators with Edges
Chiseled Off.

Jar Troubles.-- Jars Damaged by Rough Handling. Jars Damaged by Battery
Being Loose. Jars Damaged by Weights Placed on Top of Battery. Jars
Damaged by Freezing of Electrolyte. Jars Damaged by Improperly Trimmed
Plate Groups. Improperly Made Jars. Jars Damaged by Explosions in Cell.

Battery Case Troubles.-- Ends of Case Bulged Out. Rotted Case.

Troubles with Connectors and Terminals.--Corroded and Loose Connectors
and Terminals.

Electrolyte Troubles.-- Low Gravity. High Gravity. Low Level. High
Level. Specific Gravity Does Not Rise During Charge. "Milky"
Electrolyte. Foaming of Electrolyte.

General Battery Troubles.-- Open Circuits. Battery Discharged. Dead
Cells. Battery Will Not Charge. Loss of Capacity. Loss of Charge in an
Idle Battery.


List of Tools and Equipment Required by Repair Shop. Equipment Needed
for Opening Batteries. Equipment for Lead Burning. Equipment for
General Work on Cell Connectors and Terminals. Equipment for Work on
Cases. Tools and Equipment for General Work. Stock. Special Tools.
Charging Equipment. Wiring Diagrams for Charging Resistances and
Charging Circuits. Motor-Generator Sets. Suggestions on Care of
Motor-Generator Sets. Operating the Charging Circuits. Constant
Current Charging. Constant Potential Charging. The Tungar Rectifier.
Principle of Operation of Tungar Rectifier. The Two Ampere Tungar. The
One Battery Tungar. The Two. Battery Tungar. The Four Battery Tungar.
The Ten Battery Tangar. The Twenty Battery Tungar. Table of Tungar
Rectifiers. Installation and Operation of Tungar Rectifier. The
Mercury Are Rectifier. Mechanical Rectifiers. The Stahl Rectifier.
Other Charging Equipment. The Charging Bench. Illustrations and
Working Drawings of Charging Benches. Illustrations and Working
Drawings of Work Benches. Illustrations and Working Drawings of Sink
and Wash Tanks. Lead Burning Outfits. Equipment for Handling Sealing
Compound. Shelving and Racks. Working Drawings of Receiving Racks,
Racks for Repaired Batteries, Racks for New Batteries, Racks for
Rental Batteries, Racks for Batteries in Dry Storage, Racks for
Batteries in "Wet" Storage. Working Drawings of Stock Bins. Working
Drawings for Battery Steamer Bench. Description of Battery Steamer.
Plate Burning Rack. Battery Terminal Tongs. Lead Burning Collars. Post
Builders. Moulds for Casting Lead Parts. Link Combination Mould. Cell
Connector Mould. Production Type Strap Mould. Screw Mould. Battery
Turntable. Separator Cutter. Plate Press. Battery Carrier. Battery
Truck. Cadmium Test Set and How to Make the Test. Paraffine Dip Pot.
Wooden Boxes for Battery Parts. Acid Car boys. Drawing Acid from
Carboys. Shop Layouts. Floor Grating. Seven Architects' Drawings of
Shop Layouts. The Shop Floor. Shop Light.


Complete instructions for giving a bench charge. Instructions for
Burning Cell Connectors and Terminals. Burning Plates to Strap and
Posts. Post Building. Extending Plate Lugs. Moulding Lead Parts.
Handling and Mixing Acid. Putting New Batteries Into Service (Exide,
Vesta, Philadelphia, Willard, Westinghouse, Prest-O-Lite). Installing
Battery on Car. Wet and Dry Storage of Batteries. Age Codes (Exide,
Philadelphia, Prest-O-Lite, Titan, U.S.L., Vesta, Westinghouse,
Willard). Rental Batteries. Terminals for Rental Batteries. Marking
Chapter Page Rental Batteries. Keeping a Record of Rental Batteries.
General Rental Policy. Radio Batteries. Principles of Audion Bulb for
Radio. Vesta Radio Batteries. Westinghouse Radio Batteries. Willard
Radio Batteries. Universal Radio Batteries. Exide Radio Batteries.
Philadelphia Radio Batteries. U.S.L. Radio Batteries. Prest-O-Lite
Radio Batteries. "Dry" Storage Batteries. Discharge Tests. 15 Seconds
High Rate Discharge Test. 20 Minutes Starting Ability Discharge Test.
"Cycling" Discharge Tests. Discharge Apparatus. Packing Batteries for
Shipping. Safety Precautions for the Repairman. Testing the Electrical
System of a Car. Complete Rules and Instructions for Quickly Testing,
Starting and Lighting System to Protect Battery. Adjusting Generator
Outputs. How and When to Adjust Charging Rate. Re-insulating the
Battery. Testing and Filling Service. Service Records. Illustrations
of Repair Service Record Card. Rental Battery Stock Card.


Purchasing Methods. Stock Records. The Use and Abuse of Credit. Proper
Bookkeeping Records. Daily Exhibit Record. Statistical and Comparative


"Service." Calling and Delivering Repaired Batteries. How to Diagnose
Batteries That Come In. Tests on Incoming Batteries. General
Inspection of Incoming Batteries. Operation Tests for Incoming
Batteries. Battery Trouble Charts. Causes of Low Gravity or Low
Voltage. Causes of Unequal Gravity Readings. Causes of High Gravity.
Causes of Low Electrolyte. How to Determine When Battery May Be Left
on Car. How to Determine When Battery Must Be Removed from Car. How to
Determine When It Is Unnecessary to Open a Battery. How to Determine
When Battery Must Be Opened.


How to Open a Battery.-- Cleaning Outside of Battery Before Opening.
Drilling and Removing Connectors and Terminals. Removing the Sealing
Compound by Steam, Hot Water, Hot Putty Knife, Lead Burning Flame, and
Gasoline Torch. Lifting Plates Out of Jars. Draining Plates. Removing
Covers. Scraping Sealing Compound from the Covers. Scraping Sealing
Compound from Inside of Jars.

What Must Be Done with the Opened Battery?-- Making a Preliminary
Examination of Plates. When to Put in New Plates. When Old Plates May
Be Used Again. What to Do with the Separators. Find the Cause of Every
Trouble. Eliminating "Shorts." Preliminary Charge After Eliminating
Shorts. Washing and Pressing Negatives. Washing Positives. Burning on
New Plates. Testing Jars for Cracks and Holes. Removing Defective
Jars. Repairing the Case.

Reassembling the Elements.-- Putting in Now Separators. Putting
Elements Into Jars. Filling Jars with Electrolyte. Putting Chapter
Page on the Covers. Sealing the Covers. Burning on the Connectors and
Terminals. Marking the Repaired Battery. Cleaning and Painting the
Case. Charging the Rebuilt Battery. Testing.


Exide Batteries.-- Types. Type Numbers. Methods of Holding Jars in
Case. Opening Exide Batteries. Work on Plates, Separators, Jars, and
Case. Putting Plates in Jars. Filling Jars with Electrolyte. Sealing
Covers. Putting Cells in Case. Burning on the Cell Connectors.
Charging After Repairing. Tables of Exide Batteries.

U.S.L. Batteries.-- Old and New. U.S.L. Covers. Special Repair
Instructions. Tables of U.S.L. Batteries.

Prest-O-Lite Batteries.-- Old and New Prest-O-Lite Cover Constructions.
The "Peened" Post Seal. Special Tools for Work on Prest-O-Lite
Batteries. The Peening Press. Removing Covers. Rebuilding Posts.
Locking, or "Peening" the Posts. Precautions in Post Locking
Operations. Tables of Prest-0-Lite Batteries.

Philadelphia Diamond Grid Batteries.-- Old and New Types. The
Philadelphia "Rubber-Lockt" Cover Seal. Philadelphia Rubber Case
Batteries. The Philadelphia Separator. Special Repair Instructions.

Eveready Batteries.-- Why the Eveready Batteries Are Called
"Non-Sulphating" Batteries. Description of Parts of Eveready Battery.
Special Repair Instructions.

Vesta Batteries.-- Old and New Vesta Isolators. The Vesta Type "D"
Battery. The Vesta Type "DJ" Battery. Vesta Separators. The Vesta Post
Seal. Special Repair Instructions for Old and New Isolators and Post

Westinghouse Batteries.-- The Westinghouse Post Seal. Westinghouse
Plates. Types of Westinghouse Batteries. Type "A" Batteries. Type "B"
Batteries. Type "C" Batteries. Type "E" Batteries. Type "H" Batteries.
Type "J" Batteries. Type "0" Batteries. Type "F" Batteries.

Willard Batteries.-- Double and Single Cover Batteries. Batteries with
Sealing Compound Post Seal. Batteries with Lead Inserts in Cover Post
Holes. Batteries with Rubber Casket Post Seal. Special Repair
Instructions for Work on the Different Types of Post Seal
Constructions. Willard Threaded Rubber Separators.

Universal Batteries.-- Types. Construction Features. Putting New
Universal Batteries Into Service.

Titan Batteries.-- The Titan Grid. The Titan Post Seal.


Comparison of Operating Conditions of Farm Lighting Batteries with
Automobile Batteries. Jars for Farm Lighting Batteries. Separators.
Electrolyte. Charging Equipment. Relation of the Automobile Battery
Man to the Farm Lighting Plant. Rules Governing the Selection of a
Farm Lighting Plant. Location and Wiring of Farm Lighting Plant.
Installation. Care of Plant in Service. Care of Battery. Charging Farm
Lighting Batteries. Rules Governing Discharging of Farm Lighting
Batteries. Troubles Found in Farm Lighting Batteries. Inspection and
Tests on Farm Lighting Batteries. Description of Prest-O-Lite Farm
Lighting Battery. Rebuilding Prest-O-Lite Farm Lighting Batteries.
Description of Exide Farm Lighting Batteries. The Delco-Light Battery.
Rebuilding and Repairing Exide Farm Lighting Batteries. Westinghouse
Farm Lighting Batteries. Willard Farm Lighting Batteries.


Condensed Dictionary of Words and Terms Used in Battery Work.



Photographs showing factory processes.

BUYERS' INDEX.   (Omitted.)

For the Convenience of Our Readers We Have Prepared a List of
Companies from Whom Battery Shop Equipment May Be Obtained.

ADVERTISEMENTS   (Omitted. Outdated; high bandwidth)


Section I

Working Principles, Manufacture,
Maintenance, Diseases,
and Remedies


The Automobile Storage Battery



Gasoline and electricity have made possible the modern automobile.
Each has its work to do in the operation of the car, and if either
fails to perform its duties, the car cannot move. The action of the
gasoline, and the mechanisms that control it are comparatively simple,
and easily understood, because gasoline is something definite which we
can see and feel, and which can be weighed, or measured in gallons.
Electricity, on the other hand, is invisible, cannot be poured into
cans or tanks, has no odor, and, therefore, nobody knows just what it
is. We can only study the effects of electricity, and the wires,
coils, and similar apparatus in which it is present. It is for this
reason that an air of mystery surrounds electrical things, especially
to the man who has not made a special study of the subject.

Without electricity, there would be no gasoline engine, because
gasoline itself cannot cause the engine to operate. It is only when
the electrical spark explodes or "ignites" the mixture of gasoline and
air which has been drawn into the engine cylinders that the engine
develops power. Thus an electrical ignition system has always been an
essential part of every gasoline automobile.

The first step in the use of electricity on the automobile, in
addition to the ignition system, consisted in the installation of an
electric lighting system to replace the inconvenient oil or gas lamps
which were satisfactory as far as the light they gave was concerned,
but which had the disadvantage of requiring the driver to leave his
seat, and light each lamp separately, often in a strong wind or rain
which consumed many matches, time, and frequently spoiled his temper
for the remainder of the evening. Electric lamps have none of these
disadvantages. They can be controlled from the driver's seat, can be
turned on or off by merely turning or pushing a switch-button, are not
affected by wind or rain, do not smoke up the lenses, and do not send
a stream of unpleasant odors back to the passengers.

The apparatus used to supply the electricity for the lamps consisted
of a generator, or a "storage" battery, or both. The generator alone
had the disadvantage that the lamps could be used only while the
engine was running. The battery, on the other hand, furnished light at
all times, but had to be removed from the car frequently, and
"charged." With both the generator and battery, the lights could be
turned on whether the engine was running or not, and, furthermore, it
was no longer necessary to remove the battery to "charge," or put new
life into it. With a generator and storage battery, moreover, a
reliable source of electricity for ignition was provided, and so we
find dry batteries and magnetos being discarded in a great many
automobiles and "battery ignition" systems substituted.

The development of electric lighting systems increased the popularity
of the automobile, but the motor car still had a great
drawback-cranking. Owing to the peculiar features of a gasoline
engine, it must first be put in motion by some external power before
it will begin to operate under its own power. This made it necessary
for the driver to "crank" the engine, or start it moving, by means of
a handle attached to the engine shaft. Cranking a large engine is
difficult, especially if it is cold, and often results in tired
muscles, and soiled clothes and tempers. It also made it impossible
for the average woman to drive a car because she did not have the
strength necessary to "crank" an engine.

The next step in the perfection of the automobile was naturally the
development of an automatic device to crank the engine, and thus make
the driving of a car a pleasure rather than a task. We find,
therefore, that in 1912, "self-starters" began to be used. These were
not all electrical, some used tanks of compressed air, others
acetylene, and various mechanical devices, such as the spring
starters. The electrical starters, however, proved their superiority
immediately, and filled such a long felt want that all the various
makes of automobiles now have electric starters. The present day motor
car, therefore, uses gasoline for the engine only, but uses
electricity for ignition, starting, lighting, for the horn, cigar
lighters, hand warmers on the steering wheel, gasoline vaporizers, and
even for shifting speed changing gears, and for the brakes.

On any car that uses an electric lighting and starting system, there
are two sources of electricity, the generator and the battery, These
must furnish the power for the starting, or "cranking" motor, the
ignition, the lights, the horn, and the other devices. The demands
made upon the generator are comparatively light and simple, and no
severe work is done by it. The battery, on the other hand is called
upon to give a much more severe service, that of furnishing the power
to crank the engine. It must also perform all the duties of the
generator when the engine is not running, since a generator must be in
motion in order to produce electricity.

A generator is made of iron, copper, carbon, and insulation. These are
all solid substances which can easily be built in any size or shape,
and which undergo very little change as parts of the generator. The
battery is made mainly of lead, lead compounds, water and sulphuric
acid. Here we have liquids as well as solids, which produce
electricity by changes in their composition, resulting in complicated
chemical as well as electrical actions.

  [Fig. 1 The Battery]

The battery is, because of its construction and performance, a much
abused, neglected piece of apparatus which is but partly understood,
even by many electrical experts, for to understand it thoroughly
requires a study of chemistry as well as of electricity. Knowledge of
the construction and action of a storage battery is not enough to make
anyone an expert battery man. He must also know how to regulate the
operating conditions so as to obtain the best service from the
battery, and he must be able to make complete repairs on any battery
no matter what its condition may be.



There are two ways of "generating" electricity on the car: 1.
Magnetically, 2. Chemically. The first method is that used in a
generator, in which wires are rotated in a "field" in which magnetic
forces act. The second method is that of the battery, and the one in
which we are now interested.

If two unlike metals or conducting substances are placed in a liquid
which causes a greater chemical change in one of the substances than
in the other, an electrical pressure, or "electromotive" force is
caused to exist between the two metals or conducting substances. The
greater the difference in the chemical action on the substances, the
greater will be the electrical pressure, and if the substances are
connected together outside of the liquid by a wire or other conductor
of electricity, an electric current will flow through the path or
"circuit" consisting of the liquid, the two substances which are
immersed in the liquid, and the external wire or conductor.

As the current flows through the combination of the liquid, and the
substances immersed in it, which is called a voltaic "cell," one or
both of the substances undergo chemical changes which continue until
one of the substances is entirely changed. These chemical changes
produce the electrical pressure which causes the current to flow, and
the flow will continue until one or both of the substances are changed
entirely. This change due to the chemical action may result in the
formation of gases, or of solid compounds. If gases are formed they
escape and are lost. If solids are formed, no material is actually

Assuming that one of the conducting substances, or "electrodes," which
are immersed in the liquid has been acted upon by the liquid, or
"electrolyte," until no further chemical action can take place, our
voltaic cell will no longer be capable of causing a flow of
electricity. If none of the substances resulting from the original
chemical action have been lost as gases, it may be possible to reverse
the entire set of operations which have taken place. That is, suppose
we now send a current through the cell from an outside source of
electricity, in a direction opposite to that in which the current
produced by the chemical action between the electrodes and electrolyte
flowed. If this current now produces chemical actions between
electrodes and electrolyte which are the reverse of those which
occurred originally, so that finally we have the electrodes and
electrolyte brought back to their original composition and condition,
we have the cell just as it was before we used it for the production
of an electrical pressure. The cell can now again be used as a source
of electricity as long as the electrolyte acts upon the electrodes, or
until it is "discharged" and incapable of any further production of
electrical pressure. Sending a current through a discharged cell, so
as to reverse the chemical actions which brought about the discharged
conditions, is called "charging" the cell.

  [Fig. 2 A complete cell; Negative group; Positive group]

Cells in which an electrical pressure is produced as soon as the
electrodes are immersed in the electrolyte are called it "primary"
Cells. In these cells it is often impossible, and always
unsatisfactory to reverse the chemical action as explained above.
Cells whose chemical actions are reversible are called "storage" or
"secondary" cells. In the "storage" cells used today, a current must
first be sent through the cell in order to cause the chemical changes
which result in putting the electrodes and electrolyte, in such a
condition that they will be capable of producing an electrical
pressure when the chemical changes caused by the current are complete.
The cell now possesses all the characteristics of a primary cell, and
may be used as a source of electricity until "discharged." It may then
be "charged" again, and so on, the chemical action in one case causing
a flow of current, and a reversed flow of current causing reversed
chemical actions.

We see from the above that the "storage" battery does not "store"
electricity at all, but changes chemical into electrical energy when
"discharging," and changes electrical into chemical energy when
"charging," the two actions being entirely reversible. The idea of
"storing" electricity comes from the fact that if we send a current of
electricity through the cell for a certain length of time, we can at a
later time draw a current from the cell for almost the same length of

  [Fig. 3 Complete Element]

  Fig. 3. A complete element, consisting of a positive and negative
  group of plates and separators ready for placing in the hard rubber

Three things are therefore required in a storage cell, the liquid or
"electrolyte" and two unlike substances or electrodes, through which a
current of electricity can pass and which are acted upon by the
electrolyte with a chemical action that is greater for one substance
than the other. In the storage cell used on the automobile today for
starting and lighting, the electrodes are lead and peroxide of lead,
and the electrolyte is a mixture of sulphuric acid and water. The
peroxide of lead electrode is the one upon which the electrolyte has
the greater chemical effect, and it is called the positive or "+"
electrode, because when the battery is sending a. current through an
external circuit, the current flows from this electrode through the
external circuit, and back to the lead electrode, which is called the
negative, or electrode.

When starting and lighting systems were adopted in 1912, storage
batteries had been used for many years in electric power stations.
These were, however, large and heavy, and many difficult problems of
design had to be solved in order to produce a battery capable of
performing the work of cranking the engine, and yet be portable,
light, and small enough to occupy only a very limited space on the
automobile. As a result of these conditions governing the design, the
starting and lighting battery of today is in reality "the giant that
lives in a box." The Electric Storage Battery Company estimates that
one of its types of batteries, which measures only 12-5/8 inches long,
7-3/8 wide, and 9-1/8 high, and weighs only 63-1/2 pounds, can deliver
enough energy to raise itself to a height of 6 miles straight up in
the air. It must be able to do its work quickly at all times, and in
all sorts of weather, with temperatures ranging from below 0° to 100°
Fahrenheit, or even higher.

The starting and lighting battery has therefore been designed to
withstand severe operating conditions. Looking at such a battery on a
car we see a small wooden box in which are placed three or more
"cells," see Fig. 1. Each "cell" has a hard, black rubber top through
which two posts of lead project. Bars of lead connect the posts of one
cell to those of the next. To one of the posts of each end cell is
connected a cable which leads into the car, and through which the
current leaves or enters the battery. At the center of each cell is a
removable rubber plug covering an opening through which communication
is established with the inside of the cell for the purpose of pouring
in water, removing some of the electrolyte to determine the condition
of the battery, or to allow gases formed within the cell to escape.
Looking down through this opening we can see the things needed to form
a storage battery: the electrolyte, and the electrodes or "plates" as
they are called. If we should remove the lead bars connecting one cell
to another, and take off the black cover, we should find that the
posts which project out of the cells are attached to the plates which
are broad and flat, and separated by thin pieces of wood or rubber.,
If we lift out the plates we find that they are connected alternately
to the two lead posts, and that the two outside ones have a gray
color. If we pull the plates out from each Other, we find that the
plates next to the two outside ones, and all other plates connected to
the same lead post as these have a chocolate-brown color. If we remove
the jar of the cell, we find that it is made of hard rubber. Pouring
out the electrolyte we find several ridges which hold the plates off
the bottom of the jar. The pockets formed by these ridges may contain
some soft, muddy substance. Thus we have exposed all the elements of a
cell, posts, plates, "separators," and electrolyte. The gray colored
plates are attached to the "negative" battery post, while the
chocolate-brown colored ones are connected to the "positive" battery
post. Examination will show that each of the plates consists of a
skeleton metallic framework which is filled with the brown or gray
substances. This construction is used to decrease the weight of the
battery. The gray filler material is pure lead in a condition called
"spongy lead." The chocolate-brown filler substance is peroxide of

We have found nothing but two sets of plates--one of pure lead, the
other of peroxide of lead, and the electrolyte of sulphuric acid and
water. These produce the heavy current necessary to crank the engine.
How this is done, and what the chemical actions within the cell are,
are described in Chapter 4.



To supply the great number of batteries needed for gasoline
automobiles, large companies have been formed. Each company has its
special and secret processes which it will not reveal to the public.
Only a few companies, however, supply batteries in any considerable
quantities, the great majority of cars being supplied with batteries
made by not more than five or six manufacturers. This greatly reduces
the number of possible different designs in general use today.

The design and dimensions of batteries vary considerably, but the
general constructions are similar. The special processes of the
manufacturers are of no special interest to the repairman, and only a
general description will be given here.

A starting and lighting battery consists of the following principal

1. Plates
2. Separators
3. Electrolyte
4. Jars
5. Covers
6. Cell Connectors and Terminals
7. Case Plates

Of the two general types of battery plates, Faure and Plante, the
Faure, or pasted type, is universally used on automobiles. In the
manufacture of pasted plates there are several steps which we shall
describe in the order in which they are carried out.

Casting the Grid. The grid is the skeleton of the plate. It performs
the double function of supporting the mechanically weak active
material and of conducting the current. It is made of a lead antimony
alloy which is melted and poured into a mould. Pure lead is too soft
and too easily attacked by the electrolyte, and antimony is added to
give stiffness, and resistance to the action of the electrolyte in the
cell. The amount of antimony used varies in different makes but
probably averages 8 to 10%.

The casting process requires considerable skill, the proper
composition of the metal and the temperature of both metal and moulds
being of great importance in securing perfect grids, which are free
from blowholes, and which have a uniform structure and composition.
Some manufacturers cast two grids simultaneously in each mould, the
two plates being joined to each other along the bottom edge.

Trimming the Grids. When the castings have cooled, they are removed
from the moulds and passed to a press or trimming machine which trims
off the casting gate and the rough edges. The grids are given a rigid
inspection, those having shrunken or missing ribs or other defects
being rejected. The grids are now ready for pasting.

  [Fig 4. Grid, Trimmed, and Ready for Pasting]

Fig. 4 shows a grid ready for pasting. The heavy lug at one upper
corner is the conducting lug, for carrying the current to the strap,
Fig. 5, into which the lugs are burned when the battery is assembled.
The straps are provided with posts, to which the intercell connectors
and terminal connectors are attached. The vertical ribs of the grids
extend through the plate, providing mechanical strength and
conductivity, while the small horizontal ribs are at the surface and
in staggered relation on opposite faces. Both the outside frames and
the vertical ribs are reinforced near the lug, where the greatest
amount of current must be carried.

The rectangular arrangement of ribs, as shown in Fig. 4, is most
generally used, although, there are other arrangements such as the
Philadelphia "Diamond" grid in which the ribs form acute angles,
giving diamond shaped openings, as shown in Fig. 6.

Pastes. There are many formulas for the pastes, which are later
converted into active material, and each is considered a trade secret
by the manufacturer using it. The basis of all, however, is oxide of
lead, either Red Lead (Pb30 4), Litharge (PbO), or a mixture of the
two, made into a paste with a liquid, such as dilute sulphuric acid.
The object of mixing the oxides with the liquid is to form a paste of
the proper consistency for application to the grids, and at the same
time introduce the proper amount of binding, or setting agent which
will give porosity, and which will bind together the active material,
especially in the positive plate. Red lead usually predominates in the
positive paste, and litharge in the negative, as this combination
requires the least energy in forming the oxides to active material.

  [Fig. 5 Plate Straps and Posts]

The oxides of lead used in preparing the pastes which are applied to
the grids are powders, and in their dry condition could not be applied
to the grids, as they would fall out. Mixing them with a liquid to
make a paste gives them greater coherence and enables them to be
applied to the grids. Sulphuric acid puts the oxides in the desired
pasty condition, but has the disadvantage of causing a chemical action
to take place which changes a considerable portion of the oxides to
lead sulphate, the presence of which makes the paste stiff and
impossible to apply to the grids. When acid is used, it is therefore
necessary to work fast after the oxides are mixed with sulphuric acid
to form the paste.

In addition to the lead oxides, the pastes may contain some binding
material such as ammonium or magnesium sulphate, which tends to bind
the particles of the active material together. The paste used for the
negatives may contain lamp black to give porosity.

Applying the Paste. After the oxides are mixed to a paste they are
applied to the grids. This is done either by hand, or by machine In
the hand pasting process, the pastes are applied from each face of the
grid by means of a wooden paddle or trowel, and are smoothed off flush
with the surface of the ribs of the grid. This work is done quickly in
order that the pastes may not stiffen before they are applied.

U. S. L. plates are pasted in a machine which applies the paste to the
grid, subjecting it at the same time to a pressure which forces it
thoroughly into the grid, and packs it in a dense mass.

Drying the Paste. The freshly pasted plates are now allowed to dry in
the air, or are dried by blowing air over them. In any case, the
pastes set to a hard mass, in which condition the pastes adhere firmly
to the grids. The plates may then be handled without a loss of paste
from the grids.

  [Fig. 6 Philadelphia diamond grid]

Forming. The next step is to change the paste of oxides into the
active materials which make a cell operative. This is called "forming"
and is really nothing but a prolonged charge, requiring several days.
In some factories the plates are mounted in tanks, positive and
negative plates alternating as in a cell. The positives are all
connected together in one group and the negatives in another, and
current passed through just as in charging a battery. In other
factories the positives and negatives are formed in separate tanks
against "dummy" electrodes.

The passing of the current slowly changes the mixtures of lead oxide
and lead sulphate, forming brown peroxide of lead (PbO2), on the
positive plate and gray spongy metallic lead on the negative. The
formation by the current of lead peroxide and spongy lead on the
positive and negative plates respectively would take place if the
composition of the two pastes were identical. The difference in the
composition of the paste for positive and negative plates is for the
purpose of securing the properties of porosity and physical condition
best suited to each.

  [Fig. 7 Formed plate, ready to be burned to plate connecting

When the forming process is complete, the plates are washed and dried,
and are then ready for use in the battery. If the grids of two plates
have been cast together, as is done by some manufacturers, these are
now cut apart, and the lugs cut to the proper height. The next step is
to roll, or press the negatives after they are removed from the
forming bath so as to bring the negative paste, which has become
roughened by gassing that occurred during the forming process, flush
with the surface of the ribs of the grid. A sufficient amount of
sulphate is left in the plates to bind together the active material.
Without this sulphate the positive paste would simply be a powder and
when dry would fall out of the grids like dry dust. Fig. 7 shows a
formed plate ready to be burned to the strap.


In batteries used both for starting and for lighting, separators made
of specially treated wood are largely used. See Fig. 8. The Willard
Company has adopted an insulator made of a rubber fabric pierced by
thousands of cotton threads, each thread being as long as the
separator is thick. The electrolyte is carried through these threads
from one side of the separator to the other by capillary action, the
great number of these threads insuring the rapid diffusion of
electrolyte which is necessary in batteries which are subjected to the
heavy discharge current required in starting.

In batteries used for lighting or ignition, sheets of rubber in which
numerous holes have been drilled are also used, these holes permitting
diffusion to take place rapidly enough to perform the required service
satisfactorily, since the currents involved are much smaller than in
starting motor service.

  [Fig. 8]

Fig 8. A Pile of Prepared Wooden Seperators Ready to be Put Between
the Positive and Negative Plates to Form the Complete Element.

For the wooden separators, porous wood, such as Port Orford cedar,
basswood, cypress, or cedar is used. Other woods such as redwood and
cherry are also used. The question is often asked "which wood makes
the best separators?" This is difficult to answer because the method
of treating the wood is just as important as is the kind of wood. The
wood for the separators is cut into strips of the correct thickness.
These strips are passed through a grooving machine which cuts the
grooves in one side, leaving the other side smooth. The strips are
next sawed to the correct size, and are then boiled in a warm alkaline
solution for about 24 hours to neutralize any organic acid, such as
acetic acid, which the wood naturally contains. Such acids would cause
unsatisfactory battery action and damage to the battery.

The Vesta separator, or "impregnated mat," is treated in a bath of
Barium salts which form compounds with the wood and which are said to
make the separators strong and acid-resisting.

  [Fig. 9 Philco slotted retainer]

Some batteries use a double separator, one of which is the wooden
separator, while the other consists of a thin sheet of hard rubber
containing many fine perforations. This rubber sheet is placed between
the positive plate and the wooden separator. A recent development in
the use of an auxiliary rubber separator is the Philco slotted
retainer which is placed between the separators and the positives in
Philadelphia Diamond Grid Batteries. Some Exide batteries also use
slotted rubber separators. The Philco slotted retainer consists of a
thin sheet of slotted hard rubber as shown in Fig. 9. The purpose of
the retainer is to hold the positive active material in place and
prevent the shedding which usually occurs. The slots in the retainer
are so numerous that they allow the free passage of electrolyte, but
each slot is made very narrow so as to hold the active material in the


Little need be said here about the electrolyte, since a full
description is given elsewhere. See page 222. Acid is received by the
battery manufacturer in concentrated form. Its specific gravity is
then 1.835. The acid commonly used is made by the "contact" process,
in which sulphur dioxide is oxidized to sulphur trioxide, and then,
with the addition of water, changed to sulphuric acid. The
concentrated acid is diluted with distilled water to the proper
specific gravity.


The jars which contain the plates, separators, and electrolyte are
made of a tough, hard rubber compound. They are made either by the
moulding process, or by wrapping sheets of rubber compound around
metal mandrels. In either case the jar is subsequently vulcanized by
careful heating at the correct temperature.

The battery manufacturers do not, as a rule, make their own jars, but
have them made by the rubber companies who give the jars a high
voltage test to detect any flaws, holes, or cracks which would
subsequently cause a leak. The jars as received at the battery maker's
factory are ready for use.

Across the bottom of the jar are several stiff ribs which extend up
into the jar so as to provide a substantial support for the plates,
and at the same time form several pockets below the plates in which
the sediment resulting from shedding of active material from the
plates accumulates.


No part of a battery is of greater importance than the hard rubber
cell covers, from the viewpoint of the repairman as well as the
manufacturer. The repairman is concerned chiefly with the methods of
sealing the battery, and no part of his work requires greater skill
than the work on the covers. The manufacturers have developed special
constructions, their aims being to design the cover so as to
facilitate the escape of gas which accumulates in the upper part of a
cell during charge, to provide space for expansion of the electrolyte
as it becomes heated, to simplify inspection and filling with pure
water, to make leak proof joints between the cover and the jar and
between the cover and the lead posts which project through it, and to
simplify the work of making repairs.

Single and Double Covers. Modern types of batteries have a single
piece cover, the edges of which are made so as to form a slot or
channel with the inside of the jar, into which is poured sealing
compound to form a leak proof joint. This construction is illustrated.
in Exide, Fig. 1.5; Vesta, Fig. 264; Philadelphia Diamond Grid, Fig.
256; U. S. L., Figs. 11 and 244; and Prest-0-Lite, Fig. 247,
batteries. Exide batteries are also made with a double flange cover,
in which the top of the jar fits between the two flanges. In single
covers, a comparatively small amount of sealing compound is used, and
repair work is greatly simplified.

In the Eveready battery, Fig. 262, compound is poured over the entire
cover instead of around the edges. This method requires a considerable
amount of sealing compound.

The use of double covers is not as common as it was some years ago.
This construction makes use of two flat pieces of hard rubber. In such
batteries a considerable amount of sealing compound is used. This
compound is poured on top of the lower cover to seal the battery, the
top cover serving to cover up the compound and brace the posts. Fig.
10 illustrates this construction.

  [Fig. 10 Cross-section of Gould double cover battery]

Sealing Around the Posts. Much variety is shown in the methods used to
secure a leak proof joint between the posts and the cover. Several
methods are used. One of these uses the sealing compound to make a
tight joint. Another has lead bushings which are screwed up into the
cover or moulded in the cover, the bushings being burned together with
the post and cell connector. Another method has a threaded post, and
uses a lead alloy nut with a rubber washer to make a tight joint.
Still another method forces a lead collar down over the post, and
presses the cover down on a soft rubber gasket.

Using Sealing Compound. Some of the batteries which use sealing
compound to make a tight joint between the cover and the post have a
hard rubber bushing shrunk over the post. This construction is used in
Gould batteries, as shown in Fig. 10, and in the old Willard double
cover batteries. The rubber bushing is grooved horizontally to
increase the length of the sealing surface.

  [Fig. 11 U.S.L. cover]

Other batteries that use sealing compound around the posts have
grooves or "petticoats" cut directly in the post and have a well
around the post into which the sealing compound is poured. This is the
construction used in the old Philadelphia Diamond Grid battery, as
shown in Fig. 254.

Using Lead Bushings. U. S. L. batteries have a flanged lead bushing
which is moulded directly into the cover, as shown in Fig. 11. In
assembling the battery, the cover is placed over the post, and the
cell connector is burned to both post and bushing.

  [Fig. 12 Lead bushing screwed into cover]

In older type U. S. L. batteries a bushing was screwed up through the
cover, and then burned to the post and cell connector.

An old type Prest-O-Lite battery used a lead bushing which screwed up
through the cover similarly to the U. S. L. batteries. Fig. 12
illustrates this construction. The SJWN and SJRN Willard Batteries
used a lead insert. See page 424.

The modern Vesta batteries use a soft rubber gasket under the cover,
and force a lead collar over the post, which pushes the cover down on
the gasket. The lead collar and post "freeze" together and make an
acid proof joint. See page 413. The Westinghouse battery uses a three
part seal consisting of a lead washer which is placed around the post,
a U shaped, soft gum washer which is placed between the post and
cover, and a tapered lead sleeve, which presses the washer against the
post and the cover. See page 417.

  [Fig. 13 Cross section of old type Willard battery]

The Prest-O-Lite Peened Post Seal. All Prest-O-Lite batteries
designated as types WHN, RHN, BHN and JFN, have a single moulded cover
which is locked directly on to the posts. This is done by forcing a
solid ring of lead from a portion of the post down into a chamfer in
the top of the cover. This construction is illustrated in Fig. 247.

Batteries Using Sealing Nuts. The Exide batteries have threaded posts.
A rubber gasket is placed under the cover on a shoulder on the post.
The nut is then turned down on the post to force the cover on the
gasket. This construction is illustrated in Fig. 239. The Titan
battery uses a somewhat similar seal, as shown in Fig. 293.

Some of the older Willard batteries have a chamfer or groove in the
under, side of the cover. The posts have a ring of lead in the base
which fits up into the groove in the cover to make a tight joint.
This is illustrated in Fig. 13. The later Willard constructions, using
a rubber gasket seal and a lead cover insert, are illustrated in Figs.
278 and 287.

Filling Tube or Vent Tube Construction. Quite a number of designs have
been developed in the construction of the filling or vent tube. In
double covers, the tube is sometimes a separate part which is screwed
into the lower cover. In other batteries using double covers, the tube
is an integral part of the cover, as shown in Fig. 10. In all single
covers, the tube is moulded integral with the cover.

  [Fig. 14a Vent hold in U.S.L. battery]

Several devices have been developed to make it impossible to overfill
batteries. This has been done by the U. S. L. and Exide companies on
older types of batteries, their constructions being described as

In old U. S. L. batteries, a small auxiliary vent tube is drilled, as
shown in Fig. 14. When filling to replace evaporation, this vent tube
prevents overfilling.

  [Fig. 14b Filling U.S.L. battery]

A finger is placed over the auxiliary vent tube shown in Fig. 14. The
water is then poured in through the filling or vent tube. When the
water reaches the bottom of the tube, the air imprisoned in the
expansion chamber can no longer escape. Consequently the water can
rise no higher in this chamber, but simply fills up the tube. Water is
added till it reaches the top of the tube. The finger is then removed
from the vent tube. This allows the air to escape from the expansion
chamber. The water will therefore fall in the filling or vent tube,
and rise slightly in the expansion chamber. The construction makes it
impossible to overfill the battery, provided that the finger is held
on the vent hole as directed.

  [Fig. 14c Filling U.S.L. battery (old types)]

Figure 15 shows the Non-Flooding Vent and Filling Plug used in the
older type Exide battery, and in the present type LXRV. The new Exide
cover, which does not use the non-flooding feature, is also shown. The
old construction is described as follows:

  [Fig. 15a Sectional view of cover in older type Exide battery.
   Top view of cover and filling plug, plug removed]

  [Fig. 15b Old and new Exide covers]

From the illustrations of the vent and filling plug, it will be seen
that they provide both a vented stopper (vents F, G, H), and an
automatic device for the preventing of overfilling and flooding. The
amount of water that can be put into the cell is limited to the exact
amount needed to replace that lost by evaporation. This is
accomplished by means of the hard rubber valve (A) within the cell
cover and with which the top of the vent plug (E) engages, as shown in
the illustrations. The action of removing the plug (E) turns this
valve (A), closing the air passage (BB), and forming an air tight
chamber (C) in the top of the cell. When water is poured in, it cannot
rise in this air space (C) so as to completely fill the cell. As soon
as the proper level is reached, the water rises in the filling tube
(D) and gives a positive indication that sufficient water has been
added. Should, however, the filling be continued, the excess will be
pure water only, not acid. On replacing the plug (E), valve (A) is
automatically turned, opening the air passages (BB), leaving the air
chamber (C) available for the expansion of the solution, which occurs
when the battery is working.

Generally the filling or vent tube is so made that its lower end
indicates the correct level of electrolyte above the plates, In adding
water, the level of the electrolyte is brought up to the bottom of the
filling tube. By looking down into the tube, it can be seen when the
electrolyte reaches the bottom of the tube.

Vent Plugs, or Caps. Vent plugs, or caps, close up the filling or vent
tubes in the covers. They are made of hard rubber, and either screw
into or over the tubes, or are tightened by a full or partial turn, as
is done in Exide batteries. In the caps are small holes which are so
arranged that gases generated within the battery may escape, but acid
spray cannot pass through these holes. It is of the utmost importance
that the holes in the vent caps be kept open to allow the gases to


The wooden case in which the cells are placed is usually made of kiln
dried white oak or hard maple. The wood is inspected carefully, and
all pieces are rejected that are weather-checked, or contain
worm-holes or knots. The wood is sawed into various thicknesses, and
then cut to the proper lengths and widths. The wood is passed through
other machines that cut in the dovetails, put the tongue on the bottom
for the joints, stamp on the part number, drill the holes for the
screws or bolts holding the handles, cut the grooves for the sealing
compound, etc. The several pieces are then assembled and glued
together. The finishing touches are then put on, these consisting of
cutting the cases to the proper heights, sandpapering the boxes, etc.
The cases are then inspected and are ready to be painted.

A more recent development in case construction is a one-piece hard
rubber case, in which the jars and case are made in one piece, the
cell compartments being formed by rubber partitions which form an
integral part of the case. This construction is used in several makes
of Radio "A" batteries, and to some extent in starting batteries.

  [Fig. 16 Exide battery case]

Asphaltum paint is generally used for wooden cases, the bottoms and
tops being given three, coats, and the sides, two. The number of coats
of paint varies, of course, in the different factories. The handles
are then put on by machinery, and the case, Fig. 16, is complete, and
ready for assembling.

Assembling and Sealing

The first step in assembling a battery is to burn the positive and
negative plates to their respective straps, Fig. 5, forming the
positive and negative "groups", Fig. 2. This is done by arranging a
set of plates and a strap in a suitable rack which holds them securely
in proper position, and then melting together the top of the plate
lugs and the portion of the strap into which they fit with a hot flame.

A positive and a negative group are now slipped together and the
separators inserted. The grooved side of the wood separator is placed
toward the positive plate and when perforated rubber sheets are used
these go between the positive and the wood separator. The positive and
negative "groups" assembled with the separators constitute the
"element," Fig. 3.

Before the elements are placed in the jars they are carefully
inspected to make sure that no separator has been left out. For this
purpose the "Exide" elements are subjected to an electrical test which
rings a bell if a separator is missing, this having been found more
infallible than trusting to a man's eyes.

In some batteries, such as the Exide, Vesta, and Prest-O-Lite
batteries, the cover is placed on the element and made fast before the
elements are placed in the jars. In other batteries, such as the U. S.
L. and Philadelphia batteries, the covers are put on after the
elements are placed in the jars.

After the element is in the jar and the cover in position, sealing
compound is applied hot so as to make a leak proof joint between jar
and cover.

  [Fig. 17 Inter-cell connector]

The completed cells are now assembled in the case and the cell
connectors, Fig. 17, burned to the strap posts. After filling with
electrolyte the battery is ready to receive its "initial charge,"
which may require from one day to a week. A low charging rate is used,
since the plates are generally in a sulphated condition when
assembled. The specific gravity is brought up to about 1.280 during
this charge. Some makers now give the battery a short high rate
discharge test (see page 266), to disclose any defects, and just
before sending them out give a final charge. The batteries are often
"cycled" after being assembled, this consisting in discharging and
recharging the batteries several times to put the active material in
the best working condition. If the batteries are to be shipped "wet,"
they are ready for shipping after the final charge and inspection.
Batteries which are shipped "dry" need to have more work done upon

Preparing Batteries for Dry Shipment

There are three general methods of "dry" shipment. The first method
consists of sending cases, plates, covers, separators, etc.,
separately, and assembling them in the service stations. Sometimes
these parts are all placed together, as in a finished battery, but
without the separators, the covers not being sealed, or the connectors
and terminals welded to the posts. This is a sort of "knock-down"
condition. The plates used are first fully charged and dried.

The second method consists of assembling a battery complete with
plates, separators, and electrolyte, charging the battery, pouring out
the electrolyte, rinsing with distilled water, pouring out the water
and screwing the vent plugs down tight. The vent holes in these plugs
are sealed to exclude air. The moisture left in the battery when the
rinsing water was poured out cannot evaporate, and the separators are
thus kept in a moistened condition.

The third method is the Willard "Bone Dry" method, and consists of
assembling the battery complete with dry threaded rubber separators
and dry plates, but without electrolyte. The holes in the vent plugs
are not sealed, since there is no moisture in the battery. Batteries
using wooden separators cannot be shipped "bone-dry," since wooden
separators must be kept moist.

Terminal Connections

When the battery is on the car it is necessary to have some form of
detachable connection to the car circuit and this is accomplished by
means of "terminal connectors," Fig. 18, of which there are many types.

  [Fig. 18 Battery terminal]

Many types of terminals are in two parts, one being permanently
attached to the car circuit and the other mounted permanently on the
battery by welding it to the terminal post, the two parts being
detachably joined by means of a bolted connection.

In another type of terminal, the cable is soldered directly to the
terminal which is lead burned to the cell post. In this construction
there is very much less chance of corrosion taking place, and it is
therefore a good design.


The wisest thing for the battery shop owner to do is to get a contract
as official service station for one of the well known makes of
batteries. The manufacturers of this battery will stand behind the
service station, giving it the benefits of its engineering,
production, and advertising departments, and boost the service
station's business, helping to make it a success.

Within the past year or so, however, some battery repairmen have
conceived the idea that they do not need the backing of a well
organized factory, and have decided to build up their own batteries.
Some of them merely assemble batteries from parts bought from one or
more manufacturers. If all the parts are made by the same company,
they will fit together, and may make a serviceable battery. Often,
however, parts made by several manufacturers are assembled in the same
battery. Here is where trouble is apt to develop, because it is more
than likely that jars may not fit well in the case; plates may not
completely fill the jars, allowing too much acid space, with the
results that specific gravity readings will not be reliable, and the
plates may be overworked; plate posts may not fit the cover holes, and
so on. If such a "fabricated" battery goes dead because of defective
material, there is no factory back of the repairman to stand the loss.

If the repairman wishes to assemble batteries, he should be very
careful to buy the parts from a reliable manufacturer, and he should
be especially careful in buying separators, as improperly treated
separators often develop acetic acid, which dissolves the lead of the
plates very quickly and ruins the battery. Batteries made in this way
are good for rental batteries, or "loaners." These batteries are
assembled and charged just as are batteries which have been in dry
storage, see page 241.

If the repairman who "fabricates" batteries takes chances, the man who
attempts to actually make his own battery plates is certainly risking
his business and reputation. There are several companies which sell
moulds for making plate grids. One even sells cans of lead oxides to
enable the repairman to make his own plate paste. Even more foolhardy
than the man who wishes to mould plate grids is the man who wishes to
mix the lead oxides himself. Many letters asking for paste formulas
have been received by the author. Such formulas can never be given,
for the author does not have them. Paste making is a far more
difficult process than many men realize. The lead oxides which are
used must be tested and analyzed carefully in a chemical laboratory
and the paste formulas varied according to the results of these tests.
The oxides must be carefully weighed, carefully handled, and carefully
analyzed. The battery service station does not have the equipment
necessary to do these things, and no repairman should ever attempt to
make plate paste, as trouble is bound to follow such attempts. A car
owner may buy a worthless battery once, but the next time he will go
to some other service station and buy a good battery.

No doubt many repairmen are as skillful and competent as the workers
in battery factories, but the equipment required to make grids and
paste is much too elaborate and expensive for the service station, and
without such equipment it is impossible to make a good battery.

The only battery parts which may safely be made in the service station
are plate straps and posts, intercell connectors, and cell terminals.
Moulds for making such parts are on the market, and it is really worth
while to invest in a set. The posts made in such moulds are of the
plain tapered type, and posts which have special sealing and locking
devices, such as the Exide, Philadelphia, and Titan cannot be made in



Before explaining what happens within one storage cell, let us look
into the early history of the storage battery, and see what a modest
beginning the modern heavy duty battery had. Between 1850 and 1860 a
man named Plante began his work on the storage battery. His original
cell consisted of two plates of metallic lead immersed in dilute
sulphuric acid. The acid formed a thin layer of lead sulphate on each
plate which soon stopped further action on the lead. If a current was
passed through the cell, the lead sulphate on the "anode" or lead
plate at which the current entered the cell was changed into peroxide
of lead, while the sulphate on the other lead plate or "cathode" was
changed into pure lead in a spongy form. This cell was allowed to
stand for several days and was then "discharged," lead sulphate being
again formed on each plate. Each time this cell was charged, more
"spongy" lead and peroxide of lead were formed. These are called the
"active" materials, because it is by the chemical action between them
and the sulphuric acid that the electricity is produced. Evidently,
the more active materials the plates contained, the longer the
chemical action between the acid and active materials could take
place, and hence the greater the "capacity," or amount of electricity
furnished by the cell. The process of charging and discharging the
battery so as to increase the amount of active material, is called
"forming" the plates.

  [Fig. 19 Illustration of chemical action in a storage cell
   during charge]

Plante's method of forming plates was very slow, tedious, and
expensive. If the spongy lead, and peroxide of lead could be made
quickly from materials which could be spread over the plates, much
time and expense could be saved. It was Faure who first suggested such
a plan, and gave us the "pasted" plate of today, which consists of a
skeleton framework of lead, with the sponge lead and peroxide of lead
filling the spaces between the "ribs" of the framework. Such plates
are known as "pasted" plates, and are much lighter and more
satisfactory, for automobile work than the heavy solid lead plates of
Plante's. Chapter 3 describes more fully the processes of
manufacturing and pasting the plates.

We know now what constitutes a storage battery, and what the parts are
that "generate" the electricity. How is the electricity produced?
Theoretically, if we take a battery which has been entirely
discharged, so that it is no longer able to cause a flow of current,
and examine and test the electrolyte and the materials on the plates,
we shall find that the electrolyte is pure water, and both sets of
plates composed of white lead sulphate. On the other hand, if we make
a similar test and examination of the plates and electrolyte of a
battery through which a current has been sent from some outside
source, such as a generator, until the current can no longer cause
chemical reactions between the plates and electrolyte, we will find
that the electrolyte is now composed of water and Sulphuric acid, the
acid comprising about 30%, and the water 70% of the electrolyte. The
negative set of plates will be composed of pure lead in a spongy form,
while the positive will consist of peroxide of lead.

The foregoing description gives the final products of the chemical
changes that take place in the storage battery. To understand the
changes themselves requires a more detailed investigation. The
substances to be considered in the chemical actions are sulphuric
acid, water, pure lead, lead sulphate, and lead peroxide. With the
exception of pure lead, each of these substances is a chemical
compound, or composed of several elements. Thus sulphuric acid is made
up of two parts of hydrogen, which is a gas; one part of sulphur, a
solid, and four parts of oxygen, which is also a gas; these combine to
form the acid, which is liquid, and which is for convenience written
as H2SO 4, H2 representing two parts of hydrogen, S one part of
sulphur, and 04, four parts oxygen. Similarly, water a liquid, is made
up of two parts of hydrogen and one part of oxygen, represented by the
symbol H2O. Lead is not a compound, but an element whose chemical
symbol is Pb, taken from the Latin name for lead. Lead sulphate is a
solid, and consists of one part of lead, a solid substance, one part
of sulphur, another solid substance, and four parts of oxygen, a gas.
It is represented chemically by Pb SO4. Lead peroxide is also a solid,
and is made up of one part of lead, and two parts of oxygen. In the
chemical changes that take place, the compounds just described are to
a certain extent split up into the substances of which they are
composed. We thus have lead (Pb), hydrogen (H), oxygen (0), and
sulphur (S), four elementary substances, two of which are solids, and
two gases. The sulphur does not separate itself entirely from the
substances with which it forms the compounds H2SO4 and Pb SO4. These
compounds are split into H2 and SO4 and Pb and SO4 respectively. That
is, the sulphur always remains combined with four parts of oxygen.

Let us now consider a single storage cell made up of electrolyte, one
positive plate, and one negative plate. When this cell is fully
charged, or in a condition to produce a current of electricity, the
positive plate is made up of peroxide of lead (PbO2), the negative
plate of pure lead (Pb), and the electrolyte of dilute sulphuric acid
(H 2SO4). This is shown diagrammatically in Fig. 19. The chemical
changes that take place when the cell is discharging and the final
result of the changes are as follows:

(a). At the Positive Plate: Lead peroxide and sulphuric acid produce
lead sulphate, water, and oxygen, or:

  [Image] Formula (a). PbO2 + H2SO4 = PbSO4 + H20 + 0

(b). At the Negative Plate: Lead and sulphuric acid produce lead
sulphate and Hydrogen, or:

  [Image] Formula (b). Pb + H2SO4 = PbSO4 + H2

  [Fig. 20 Chemical Reaction in a Storage Cell during Discharge]

The oxygen of equation (a) and the hydrogen of equation (b) combine to
form water, as may be shown by adding these two equations, giving one
equation for the entire discharge action:

  [Image] Formula (c). PbO2 + Pb + 2H2SO4 = 2PbSO4 + 2H2O

In this equation we start with the active materials and electrolyte in
their original condition, and finish with the lead sulphate and water,
which are the final products of a discharge. Examining this equation,
we see that the sulphuric acid of the electrolyte is used up in
forming lead sulphate on both positive and negative plates, and is
therefore removed from the electrolyte. This gives us the easily
remembered rule for remembering discharge actions, which, though open
to question from a strictly scientific viewpoint, is nevertheless

During discharge the acid goes into the plates.

The chemical changes described in (a), (b), and (c) are not
instantaneous. That is, the lead, lead peroxide, and sulphuric acid of
the fully charged cell are not changed into lead sulphate and water as
soon as a current begins to pass through the cell. This action is a
gradual one, small portions of these substances being changed at a
time. The greater the current that flows through the cell, the faster
will the changes occur. Theoretically, the changes will continue to
take place as long as any lead, lead peroxide, and sulphuric acid
remain. The faster these are changed into lead sulphate and water, the
shorter will be the time that the storage cell can furnish a current,
or the sooner it will be discharged.

Taking the cell in its discharged condition, let us now connect the
cell to a generator and send current through the cell from the
positive to the negative plates. This is called "charging" the cell.
The lead sulphate and water will now gradually be changed back into
lead, lead peroxide, and sulphuric acid. The lead sulphate which is on
the negative plate is changed to pure lead; the lead sulphate on the
positive plate is changed to lead peroxide, and sulphuric acid will be
added to the water. The changes at the positive plate may be
represented as follows:

Lead sulphate and water produce sulphuric acid, hydrogen and lead
peroxide, or:

  [Image] Formula (d). PbSO4 + 2H2O = PbO2 + H2SO4 + H2

The changes at the negative plate may be expressed as follows: Lead
sulphate and water produced sulphuric acid, oxygen, and lead, or:

  [Image] Formula (e). PbSO4 + H2o = Pb + H2SO4 + O

The hydrogen (H2) produced at the positive plate, and the oxygen (0)
produced at the negative plate unite to form water, as may be shown by
the equation:

  [Image] Formula (f). 2PbSO4 + 2H2O = PbO2 + Pb + 2H2SO4

Equation (f) starts with lead sulphate and water, which, as shown in
equation (c), are produced when a battery is discharged. It will be
observed that we start with lead sulphate and water. Discharged plates
may therefore be charged in water. In fact, badly discharged negatives
may be charged better in water than in electrolyte. The electrolyte is
poured out of the battery and distilled water poured in. The acid
remaining on the separators and plates is sufficient to make the water
conduct the charging current.

In equation (f), the sulphate on the plates combines with water to
form sulphuric acid. This gives us the rule:

During charge, acid is driven out of the plates.

This rule is a convenient one, but, of course, is not a strictly
correct statement.

The changes produced by sending a current through the cell are also
gradual, and will take place faster as the current is made greater.
When all the lead sulphate has been used up by the chemical changes
caused by the current, no further charging can take place. If we
continue to send a current through the cell after it is fully charged,
the water will continue to be split up into hydrogen and oxygen.
Since, however, there is no more lead sulphate left with which the
hydrogen and oxygen can combine to form lead, lead peroxide, and
sulphuric acid, the hydrogen and oxygen rise to the surface of the
electrolyte and escape from the cell. This is known as "gassing", and
is an indication that the cell is fully charged.

Relations Between Chemical Actions and Electricity.

We know now that chemical actions in the battery produce electricity
and that, on the other hand, an electric current, sent through the
battery from an outside source, such as a generator, produces chemical
changes in the battery. How are chemical changes and electricity
related? The various chemical elements which we have in a battery are
supposed to carry small charges of electricity, which, however,
ordinarily neutralize one another. When a cell is discharging,
however, the electrolyte, water, and active materials are separated
into parts carrying negative and positive charges, and these "charges"
cause what we call an electric current to flow in the apparatus
attached to the battery.

Similarly, when a battery is charged, the charging current produces
electrical "charges" which cause the substances in the battery to
unite, due to the attraction of position and negative charges for one
another. This is a brief, rough statement of the relations between
chemical reactions and electricity in a battery. A more thorough study
of the subject would be out of place in this book. It is sufficient
for the repairman to remember that the substances in a battery carry
charges of electricity which become available as an electric current
when a battery discharges, and that a charging current causes electric
charges to form, thereby "charging" the battery.



Considered chemically, the discharge of a storage battery consists of
the changing of the spongy lead and lead peroxide into lead sulphate,
and the abstraction of the acid from the electrolyte. Considered
electrically, the changes are more complex, and require further
investigation. The voltage, internal resistance, rate of discharge,
capacity, and other features must be considered, and the effects of
changes in one upon the others must be studied. This proceeding is
simplified considerably if we consider each point separately. The
abstraction of the acid from the electrolyte gives us a method of
determining the condition of charge or discharge in the battery, and
must also be studied.

  [Fig. 21 Graph: voltage changes at end and after charge]

Voltage Changes During Discharge. At the end of a charge, and before
opening the charging circuit, the voltage of each cell is about 2.5 to
2.7 volts. As soon as the charging circuit is opened, the cell voltage
drops rapidly to about 2.1 volts, within three or four minutes. This
is due to the formation of a thin layer of lead sulphate on the
surface of the negative plate and between the lead peroxide and the
metal of the positive plate. Fig. 21 shows how the voltage changes
during the last eight minutes of charge, and how it drops rapidly as
soon as the charging circuit is opened. The final value of the voltage
after the charging circuit is opened is about 2.15-2.18 volts. This is
more fully explained in Chapter 6. If a current is drawn from the
battery at the instant the charge is stopped, this drop is more rapid.
At the beginning of the discharge the voltage has already had a rapid
drop from the final voltage on charge, due to the formation of
sulphate as explained above. When a current is being drawn from the
battery, the sudden drop is due to the internal resistance of the
cell, the formation of more sulphate, and the abstracting of the acid
from the electrolyte which fills the pores of the plate. The density
of this acid is high just before the discharge is begun. It is diluted
rapidly at first, but a balanced condition is reached between the
density of the acid in the plates and in the main body of the
electrolyte, the acid supply in the plates being maintained at a
lowered density by fresh acid flowing into them from the main body of
electrolyte. After the initial drop, the voltage decreases more
slowly, the rate of decrease depending on the amount of current drawn
from the battery. The entire process is shown in Fig. 22.

  [Fig. 22 Graph: voltage changes during discharge]

Lead sulphate is being formed on the surfaces, and in the body of the
plates. This sulphate has a higher resistance than the lead or lead
peroxide, and the internal resistance of the cell rises, and
contributes to the drop in voltage. As this sulphate forms in the body
of the plates, the acid is used up. At first this acid is easily
replaced from the main body of the electrolyte by diffusion. The acid
in the main body of the electrolyte is at first comparatively strong,
or concentrated, causing a fresh supply of acid to flow into the
plates as fast as it is used up in the plates. This results in the
acid in the electrolyte growing weaker, and this, in turn, leads to a
constant decrease in the rate at which the fresh acid flows, or
diffuses into the plates. Furthermore, the sulphate, which is more
bulky than the lead or lead peroxide fills the pores in the plate,
making it more and more difficult for acid to reach the interior of
the plate. This increases the rate at which the voltage drops.

The sulphate has another effect. It forms a cover over the active
material which has not been acted upon, and makes it practically
useless, since the acid is almost unable to penetrate the coating of
sulphate. We thus have quantities of active material which are
entirely enclosed in sulphate, thereby cutting down the amount of
energy which can be taken from the battery. Thus the formation of
sulphate throughout each plate and the abstraction of acid from the
electrolyte cause the voltage to drop at a constantly increasing rate.

Theoretically, the discharge may be continued until the voltage drops
to zero, but practically, the discharge should be stopped when the
voltage of each cell has dropped to 1.7 (on low discharge rates). If
the discharge is carried on beyond this point much of the spongy lead
and lead peroxide have either been changed into lead sulphate, or have
been covered up by the sulphate so effectively that they are almost
useless. Plates in this condition require a very long charge in order
to remove all the sulphate.

The limiting value of 1.7 volts per cell applies to a continuous
discharge at a moderate rate. At a very high current flowing for only
a very short time, it is not only safe, but advisable to allow a
battery to discharge to a lower voltage, the increased drop being due
to the rapid dilution of the acid in the plates.

The cell voltage will rise somewhat every time the discharge is
stopped. This is due to the diffusion of the acid from the main body
of electrolyte into the plates, resulting in an increased
concentration in the plates. If the discharge has been continuous,
especially if at a high rate, this rise in voltage will bring the cell
up to its normal voltage very quickly on account of the more rapid
diffusion of acid which will then take place.

The voltage does not depend upon the area of the plate surface but
upon the nature of the active materials and the electrolyte. Hence,
although the plates of a cell are gradually being covered with
sulphate, the voltage, measured when no current is flowing, will fall
slowly and not in proportion to the amount of energy taken out of the
cell. It is not until the plates are pretty thoroughly covered with
sulphate, thus making it difficult for the acid to reach the active
material, that the voltage begins to drop rapidly. This is shown
clearly in Fig. 22, which shows that the cell voltage has dropped only
a very small amount when the cell is 50% discharged. With current
flowing through the cell, however, the increased internal resistance
causes a marked drop in the voltage. Open circuit voltage is not
useful, therefore to determine how much energy has been taken from the

Acid Density. The electrolyte of a lead storage battery is a mixture of
chemically pure sulphuric acid, and chemically pure water, the acid
forming about 30 per cent of the volume of electrolyte when the
battery is fully charged. The pure acid has a "specific gravity" of
1.835, that is, it is 1.835 times as heavy as an equal volume of
water. The mixture of acid and water has a specific gravity of about
1.300. As the cell discharges, acid is abstracted from the
electrolyte, and the weight of the latter must therefore grow less,
since there will be less acid in it. The change in the weight, or
specific gravity of the electrolyte is the best means of determining
the state of discharge of a cell, provided that the cell has been used
properly. In order that the value of the specific gravity may be used
as an indication of the amount of energy in a battery, the history of
the battery must be known. Suppose, for instance, that in refilling
the battery to replace the water lost by the natural evaporation which
occurs in the use of a battery, acid, or a mixture of acid and water
has been used. This will result in the specific gravity being too
high, and the amount of energy in the battery will be less than that
indicated by the specific gravity. Again, if pure water is used to
replace electrolyte which has been spilled, the specific gravity will
be lower than it should be. In a battery which has been discharged to
such an extent that much of the active material has been covered by a
layer of tough sulphate, or if a considerable amount of sulphate and
active material has been loosened from the plates and has dropped to
the bottom of the cells, it will be impossible to bring the specific
gravity of the electrolyte up to 1.300, even though a long charge is
given. There must, therefore, be a reasonable degree of certainty
that a battery has been properly handled if the specific gravity
readings are to be taken as a true indication of the condition of a
battery. Where a battery does not give satisfactory service even
though the specific gravity readings are satisfactory, the latter are
not reliable as indicating the amount of charge in the battery.

As long as a discharge current is flowing from the battery, the acid
within the plates is used up and becomes very much diluted. Diffusion
between the surrounding electrolyte and the acid in the plates keeps
up the supply needed in the plates in order to, carry on the chemical
changes. When the discharge is first begun, the diffusion of acid into
the plates takes place rapidly because there is little sulphate
clogging the pores in the active material, and because there is a
greater difference between the concentration of acid in the
electrolyte and in the plates than will exist as the discharge
progresses. As the sulphate begins to form and fill up the pores of
the plates, and as more and more acid is abstracted from the
electrolyte, diffusion takes place more slowly.

If a battery is allowed to stand idle for a short time after a partial
discharge, the specific gravity of the electrolyte will decrease
because some, of the acid in the electrolyte will gradually flow into
the pores of the plates to replace the acid used up while the battery
was discharging. Theoretically the discharge can be continued until
all the acid has been used up, and the electrolyte is composed of pure
water. Experience has shown, however, that the discharge of the
battery should not be continued after the specific gravity of the
electrolyte has fallen to 1.150. As far as the electrolyte is
concerned, the discharge may be carried farther with safety. The
plates determine the point at which the discharge should be stopped.
When the specific gravity has dropped from 1.300 to 1.150, so much
sulphate has been formed that it fills the pores in the active
material on the plates. Fig. 23 shows the change in the density of the
acid during discharge.

  [Fig. 23: Variation of Capacity with Specific Gravity]

Changes at the Negative Plate. Chemically, the action at the negative
plate consists only of the formation of lead sulphate from the spongy
lead. The lead sulphate is only slightly soluble in the electrolyte
and is precipitated as soon as it is formed, leaving hydrogen ions,
which then go to the lead peroxide plate to form water with oxygen
ions released at the peroxide plate. The sulphate forms more quickly
on the surface of the plate than in the inner portions because there
is a constant supply of acid available at the surface, whereas the
formation of sulphate in the interior of the plate requires that acid
diffuse into the pores of the active materials to replace that already
used up in the formation of sulphate. In the negative plate, however,
the sulphate tends to form more uniformly throughout the mass of the
lead, because the spongy lead is more porous than the lead peroxide,
and because the acid is not diluted by the formation of water as in
the positive plate.

Changes at the Positive Plate. In a fully charged positive plate we
have lead peroxide as the active material. This is composed of lead
and oxygen. From this fact it is plainly evident that during discharge
there is a greater chemical activity at this plate than at the
negative plate, since we must find something to combine with the
oxygen in order that the lead may form lead sulphate with the acid.
In an ideal cell, therefore, the material which undergoes the greater
change should be more porous than the material which does not involve
as great a chemical reaction. In reality, however, the peroxide is not
as porous as the spongy lead, and does not hold together as well.

The final products of the discharge of a positive plate are lead
sulphate and water. The lead peroxide must first be reduced to lead,
which then combines with the sulphate from the acid to form lead
sulphate, while the oxygen from the peroxide combines with the
hydrogen of the acid to form water. There is, therefore, a greater
activity at this plate than at the lead plate, and the formation of
the water dilutes the acid in and around the plate so that the
tendency is for the chemical actions to be retarded.

The sulphate which forms on discharge causes the active material to
bulge out because it occupies more space than the peroxide. This
causes the lead peroxide at the surface to begin falling, to the
bottom of the jar in fine dust-like particles, since the peroxide here
holds together very poorly.



Voltage. Starting with a battery which has been discharged until its
voltage has decreased to 1.7 per cell, we pass a current through it
and cause the voltage to rise steadily. Fig. 24 shows the changes in
voltage during charge. Ordinarily the voltage begins to rise
immediately and uniformly. If, however, the battery has been left in a
discharged condition for some time, or has been "over discharged," the
voltage rises very rapidly for a fraction of the first minute of
charge and then drops rapidly to the normal value and thereafter
begins to rise steadily to the end of the charge. This rise at the
beginning of the charge is due to the fact that the density of the
acid in the pores of the plates rises rapidly at first, the acid thus
formed being prevented from diffusing into the surrounding electrolyte
by the coating of sulphate. As soon as this sulphate is broken
through, diffusion takes place and the voltage drops.

  [Fig. 24 Graph: voltage changes during charge]

As shown in Fig. 24, the voltage remains almost constant between the
points M and N. At N the voltage begins to rise because the charging
chemical reactions are taking place farther and farther in the inside
parts of the plate, and the concentrated acid formed by the chemical
actions in the plates is diffusing into the main electrolyte. This
increases the battery voltage and requires a higher charging voltage.

At the point marked 0, the voltage begins to rise very rapidly. This
is due to the fact that the amount of lead sulphate in the plates is
decreasing very rapidly, allowing the battery voltage to rise and thus
increasing the charging voltage. Bubbles of gas are now rising through
the electrolyte.

At P, the last portions of lead sulphate are removed, acid is no
longer being formed, and hydrogen and oxygen gas are formed rapidly.
The gas forces the last of the concentrated acid out of the plates and
in fact, equalizes the acid concentration throughout the whole cell.
Thus no further changes can take place, and the voltage becomes
constant at R at a voltage of 2.5 to 2.7.

Density of Electrolyte. Discharge should be stopped when the density
of the electrolyte, as measured with a hydrometer, is 1.150. When we
pass a charging current through the battery, acid is produced by the
chemical actions which take place in the plates. This gradually
diffuses with the main electrolyte and causes the hydrometer to show a
higher density than before. This increase in density continues
steadily until the battery begins to "gas" freely.

The progress of the charge is generally determined by the density of
the electrolyte. For this purpose in automobile batteries, a
hydrometer is placed in a glass syringe having a short length of
rubber tubing at one end, and a large rubber bulb at the other. The
rubber tube is inserted in the cell and enough electrolyte drawn up
into the syringe to float the hydrometer so as to be able to obtain a
reading. This subject will be treated more fully in a later chapter.

Changes at Negative Plate. The charging current changes lead sulphate
into spongy lead, and acid is formed. The acid is mixed with the
diluted electrolyte outside of the plates. As the charging proceeds
the active material shrinks or contracts, and the weight of the plate
actually decreases on account of the difference between the weight and
volume of the lead sulphate and spongy lead. If the cell has had only
a normal discharge and the charge is begun soon after the discharge
ended, the charge will proceed quickly and without an excessive rise
in temperature. If, however, the cell has been discharged too far, or
has been in a discharged condition for some time, the lead sulphate
will not be in a finely divided state as it should be, but will be
hard and tough and will have formed an insulating coating over the
active material, causing the charging voltage to be high, and the
charge will proceed slowly. When most of the lead sulphate has been
reduced to spongy lead, the charging current will be greater than is
needed to carry on the chemical actions, and will simply decompose the
water into hydrogen and oxygen, and the cell "gasses." Spongy lead is
rather tough and coherent, it, and the bubbles of gas which form in
the pores of the negative plate near the end of the charge force their
way to the surface without dislodging any of the active material.

Changes at the Positive Plate. When a cell has been discharged, a
portion of the lead peroxide has been changed to lead sulphate, which
has lodged in the pores of the active material and on its surface.
During charge, the lead combines with oxygen from the water to form
lead peroxide, and acid is formed. This acid diffuses into the
electrolyte as fast as the amount of sulphate will permit. If the
discharge has been carried so far that a considerable amount of
sulphate has formed in the pores and on the surface of the plate, the
action proceeds very slowly, and unless a moderate charging current is
used, gassing begins before the charge is complete, simply because the
sulphate cannot absorb the current. The gas bubbles which originate in
the interior of the plate force their way to the surface, and in so
doing cause numerous fine particles of active material to break off
and fall to the bottom of the jar. This happens because the lead
peroxide is a granular, non-coherent substance, with the particles
held together very loosely, and the gas breaks off a considerable
amount of active material.



The capacity of a storage battery is the product of the current drawn
from a battery, multiplied by the number of hours this current flows.
The unit in which capacity is measured is the ampere-hour.
Theoretically, a battery has a capacity of 40 ampere hours if it
furnishes ten amperes for four hours, and if it is unable, at the end
of that time, to furnish any more current. If we drew only five
amperes from this battery, it should be able to furnish this current
for eight hours. Thus, theoretically, the capacity of a battery should
be the same, no matter what current is taken from it. That is, the
current in amperes, multiplied by the number of hours the battery,
furnished this current should be constant.

In practice, however, we do not discharge a battery to a lower voltage
than 1.7 per cell, except when the rate of discharge is high, such as
is the case when using the starting motor, on account of the
increasing amount of sulphate and the difficulty with which this is
subsequently removed and changed into lead and lead peroxide. The
capacity of a storage battery is therefore measured by the number of
ampere hours it can furnish before its voltage drops below 1.7 per
cell. This definition assumes that the discharge is a continuous one,
that we start with a fully charged battery and discharge it
continuously until its voltage drops to 1.7 per cell.

The factors upon which the capacity of storage batteries depend may be
grouped in two main classifications:

    1. Design and Construction of Battery
    2. Conditions of Operation

Design and Construction.

Each classification may be subdivided. Under the Design and
Construction we have:

    (a) Area of plate surface.
    (b) Quantity, arrangement, and porosity of active materials.
    (c) Quantity and strength of electrolyte.
    (d) Circulation of electrolyte.

These sub-classifications require further explanation. Taking them in

(a) Area of Plate Surface. It is evident that the chemical and
electrical activity of a battery are greatest at the surface of the
plates since the acid and active material are in intimate contact
here, and a supply of fresh acid is more readily available to replace
that which is depleted as the battery is discharged. This is
especially true with high rates of discharge, such as are caused in
starting automobile engines. Therefore, the capacity of a battery will
be greater if the surface area of its plates is increased. With large
plate areas a greater amount of acid and active materials is
available, and an increase in capacity results.

(b) Quantity, Arrangement, and Porosity of Active Materials. Since the
lead and lead peroxide are changed to lead sulphate on discharge, it
is evident that the greater the amount of these materials, the longer
can the discharge continue, and hence the greater the capacity.

The arrangement of the active materials is also important, since the
acid and active materials must be in contact in order to produce
electricity. Consequently the capacity will be greater in a battery,
all of whose active materials are in contact with the acid, than in
one in which the acid reaches only a portion of the active materials.
It is also important that all parts of the plates carry the same
amount of current, in order that the active materials may be used
evenly. As a result of these considerations, we find that the active
materials are supported on grids of lead, that the plates are made
thin, and that they have large surface areas. For heavy discharge
currents, such as starting motor currents, it is essential that there
be large surface areas. Thick plates with smaller surface areas are
more suitable for low discharge rates.

Since the inner portions of the active materials must have a plentiful
and an easily renewable supply of acid, the active materials must be
porous in order that diffusion may be easy and rapid.

(c) Quantity and Strength of Electrolyte. It is important that there
be enough electrolyte in order that the acid may not become exhausted
while there is still considerable active material left. An
insufficient supply of electrolyte makes it impossible to obtain the
full capacity from a battery. On the other hand, too much electrolyte,
due either to filling the battery too full, or to having the plates in
a jar that holds too much electrolyte, results in an increase in
capacity up to the limit of the plate capacity. There is a danger
present, however, because with an excess of electrolyte the plates
will be discharged before the specific gravity of the electrolyte
falls to 1.150. This results in over discharge of the battery with its
attendant troubles as will be described more fully in a later chapter.

It is a universal custom to consider a battery discharged when the
specific gravity of the electrolyte has dropped to 1.150, and that it
is fully charged when the specific gravity of the electrolyte has
risen to 1.280-1.300. This is true in temperate climates. In tropical
countries, which may for this purpose be defined as those countries in
which the temperature never falls below the freezing point, the
gravity of a fully charged cell is 1.200 to 1.230. The condition of
the plates is, however, the true indicator of charged or discharged
condition. With the correct amount of electrolyte, its specific
gravity is 1.150 when the plates have been discharged as far as it is
considered safe, and is 1.280-1.300 when the plates are fully charged.
When electrolyte is therefore poured into a battery, it is essential
that it contains the proper proportion of acid and water in order that
its specific gravity readings be a true indicator of the condition of
the plates as to charge or discharge, and hence show accurately how
much energy remains in the cell at any time.

A question which may be considered at this point is why in automobile,
work a specific gravity of 1.280-1.300 is adopted for the electrolyte
of a fully charged cell. There are several reasons. The voltage of a
battery increases as the specific gravity goes up. Hence, with a
higher density, a higher voltage can be obtained. If the density were
increased beyond this point, the acid would attack the lead grids and
the separators, and considerable corrosion would result. Another
danger of high density is that of sulphation, as explained in a later
chapter. Another factor which enters is the resistance of the
electrolyte. It is desirable that this be as low as possible. If we
should make resistance measurements on various mixtures of acid and
water, we should find that with a small percentage of acid, the
resistance is high. As the amount of acid is increased, the resistance
will grow less up to a certain point. Beyond this point, the
resistance will increase again as more acid is added to the mixture.
The resistance is lowest when the acid forms 30% of the electrolyte.
Thus, if the electrolyte is made too strong, the plates and also the
separators will be attacked by the acid, and the resistance of the
electrolyte will also increase. The voltage increases as the
proportion of acid is increased, but the other factors limit the
concentration. If the electrolyte is diluted, its resistance rises,
and the amount of acid is insufficient to give much capacity. The
density of 1.280-1.300 is therefore a compromise between the various
factors mentioned above.

(d) Circulation of Electrolyte. This refers to the passing of
electrolyte from one plate to another, and depends upon the ease with
which the acid can pass through the pores of the separators. A porous
separator allows more energy to be drawn from the battery than a
nonporous one.

Operating Conditions.

Considering now the operating conditions, we find several items to be
taken into account. The most important are:

    (e) Rate of discharge.
    (f) Temperature.

(e) Rate of Discharge. As mentioned above, the ampere hour rating of a
battery is based upon a continuous discharge, starting with a specific
gravity of 1.280-1.300, and finishing with 1.150. The end of the
discharge is also considered to be reached when the voltage per cell
has dropped to 1.7. With moderate rates of discharge the acid is
abstracted slowly enough to permit the acid from outside the plates to
diffuse into the pores of the plates and keep up the supply needed for
the chemical actions. With increased rates of discharge the supply of
acid is used up so rapidly that the diffusion is not fast enough to
hold up the voltage. This fact is shown clearly by tests made to
determine the time required to discharge a 100 Amp. Hr., 6 volt
battery to 4.5 volts. With a discharge rate of 25 amperes, it required
160 minutes. With a discharge rate of 75 amperes, it required 34
minutes. From this we see that making the discharge rate three times
as great caused the battery to be discharged in one fifth the time.
These discharges were continuous, however, and if the battery were
allowed to rest, the voltage would soon rise sufficiently, to burn the
lamps for a number of hours.

The conditions of operation in automobile work are usually considered
severe. In starting the engine, a heavy current is drawn from the
battery for a few seconds. The generator starts charging the battery
immediately afterward, and the starting energy is soon replaced. As
long as the engine runs, there is no load on the battery, as the
generator will furnish the current for the lamps, and also send a
charge into the battery. If the lamps are not used, the entire
generator output is utilized to charge the battery, unless some
current is furnished to the ignition system. Overcharge is quite

When the engine is not running, the lamps are the only load on the
battery, and there is no charging current. Various drivers have
various driving conditions. Some use their starters frequently, and
make only short runs. Their batteries run down. Other men use the
starter very seldom, and take long tours. Their batteries will be
overcharged. The best thing that can be done is to set the generator
for an output that will keep the battery charged under average

From the results of actual tests, it may be said that modem lead-acid
batteries are not injured in any way by the high discharge rate used
when a starting motor cranks the engine. It is the rapidity with which
fresh acid takes the place of that used in the pores of the active
materials that affects the capacity of a battery at high rates, and
not only limitation in the plates themselves. Low rates of discharge
should, in fact, be avoided more than the high rates. Battery capacity
is affected by discharge rates, only when the discharge is continuous,
and the reduction in capacity caused by the high rates of continuous
discharge does not occur if the discharge is an intermittent one, such
as is actually the case in automobile work. The tendency now is to
design batteries to give their rated capacity in very short discharge
periods. If conditions should demand it, these batteries would be sold
to give their rated capacity while operating intermittently at a rate
which would completely discharge them in three or four minutes. The
only change necessary for such high rates of discharge is to provide
extra heavy terminals to carry the heavy current.

The present standard method of rating starting and lighting batteries,
as recommended by the Society of Automotive Engineers, is as follows:

"Batteries for combined lighting and starting service shall have two
ratings. The first shall indicate the lighting ability, and shall be
the capacity in ampere hours of the battery when discharged
continuously at the 5 hour rate to a final voltage of not less than
1.7 per cell, the temperature of the battery beginning such discharge
being 80°F. The second rating shall indicate the starting ability and
shall be the capacity in ampere-hours when the battery is discharged
continuously at the 20-minute rate to a final voltage of not less than
1.5 per cell, the temperature of the battery beginning such discharge
being 80°F."

The discharge rate required under the average starting conditions is
higher than that specified above, and would cause the required drop in
voltage in about fifteen minutes. In winter, when an engine is cold
and stiff, the work required from the battery is even more severe, the
discharge rate being equivalent in amperes to probably four or five
times the ampere-rating of the battery. On account of the rapid
recovery of a battery after a discharge at a very high rate, it seems
advisable to allow a battery to discharge to a voltage of 1.0 per cell
when cranking an engine which is extremely cold and stiff.

(f) Temperature. Chemical reactions take place much more readily at
high temperatures than at low. Furthermore, the active materials are
more porous, the electrolyte lighter, and the internal resistance less
at higher temperatures. Opposed to this is the fact that at high
temperatures, the acid attacks the grids and active materials, and
lead sulphate is formed, even though no current is taken from the
battery. Other injurious effects are the destructive actions of hot
acid on the wooden separators used in most starting and lighting
batteries. Greater expansion of active material will also occur, and
this expansion is not, in general, uniform over the surface of the
plates. This results in unequal strains and the plates are bent out of
shape, or "buckled." The expansion of the active material will also
cause much of it to fall from the plates, and we then have "shedding."

  [Fig. 25 Graph: Theoretical temperature changes during charge
   and discharge]

When sulphuric acid is poured into water, a marked temperature rise
takes place. When a battery is charged, acid is formed, and when this
mixes with the diluted electrolyte, a temperature rise occurs. In
discharging, acid is taken from the electrolyte, and the temperature
has a tendency to drop. On charging, therefore, there is danger of
overheating, while on discharge, excessive temperatures are not
likely. Fig. 25 shows the theoretical temperature changes on charge
and discharge. The decrease in temperature given-in the curve is not
actually obtained in practice, because the tendency of the temperature
to decrease is balanced by the heat caused by the current passing
through the battery.

Age of Battery.

Another factor which should be considered in connection with capacity
is the age of the battery. New batteries often do not give their rated
capacity when received from the manufacturer. This is due to the
methods of making the plates. The "paste" plates, such as are used in
automobiles, are made by applying oxides of lead, mixed with a liquid,
which generally is dilute sulphuric acid, to the grids. These oxides
must be subjected to a charging current in order to produce the spongy
lead and lead peroxide. After the charge, they must be discharged, and
then again charged. This is necessary because not all of the oxides
are changed to active material on one charge, and repeated charges and
discharges are required to produce the maximum amount of active
materials. Some manufacturers do not charge and discharge a battery a
sufficient number of times before sending it out, and after a battery
is put into use, its capacity will increase for some time, because
more active material is produced during each charge.

Another factor which increases the capacity of a battery after it is
put into use is the tendency of the positive active material to become
more porous after the battery is put through the cycles of charge and
discharge. This results in an increase in capacity for a considerable
time after the battery is put into use.

When, a battery has been in use for some time, a considerable portion
of the active material will have fallen from the positive plates, and,
a decrease in capacity will result. Such a battery will charge faster
than a new one because the amount of sulphate which has formed when
the battery is discharged is less than in a newer battery. Hence, the
time required to reduce this sulphate will be less, and the battery
will "come up" faster on charge, although the specific gravity of the
electrolyte may not rise to 1.280.



The resistance offered by a storage battery to the flow of a current
through it results in a loss of voltage, and in heating. Its value
should be as low as possible, and, in fact, it is almost negligible
even I in small batteries, seldom rising above 0.05 ohm. On charge, it
causes the charging voltage to be higher and on discharge causes a
loss of voltage. Fig. 26 shows the variation in resistance.

  [Fig. 26 Graph: Changes in internal resistance during charge
   and discharge]

The resistance as measured between the terminals of a cell is made up
of several factors as follows:

1. Grids. This includes the resistance of the terminals, connecting
links, and the framework upon which the active materials are pasted.
This is but a small part of the total resistance, and does not
undergo any considerable change during charge and discharge. It
increases slightly as the temperature of the grids rises.

2. Electrolyte. This refers to the electrolyte between the plates, and
varies with the amount of acid and with temperature. As mentioned in
the preceding chapter, a mixture of acid and water in which the acid
composes thirty per cent of the electrolyte has the minimum
resistance. Diluting or increasing the concentration of the
electrolyte will both cause an increase in resistance from the minimum
I value. The explanation probably lies in the degree to which the acid
is split up into "ions" of hydrogen (H), and sulphate (SO4). These
"ions" carry the current through t he electrolyte. Starting with a
certain amount of acid, let us see how the ionization progresses. With
very concentrated acid, ionization does not take place, and hence,
there are no ions to carry current. As we mix the acid with water,
ionization occurs. The more water used, the more ions, and hence, the
less the resistance, because the number of ions available to carry the
current increases. The ionization in creases to a certain maximum
degree, beyond which no more ions are formed. It is probable that an
electrolyte containing thirty per cent of acid is at its maximum
degree of ionization and hence its lowest resistance. If more water is
now added, no more ions are formed. Furthermore, the number of ions
per unit volume of electrolyte will now decrease on account of the
increased amount of water. There Will therefore be fewer ions per unit
volume to carry the current, and the resistance of the electrolyte

With an electrolyte of a given concentration, an increase of
temperature will cause a decrease in resistance. A decrease in
temperature will, of course, cause an increase in resistance. It is
true, in general, that the resistance of the electrolyte is about half
of the total resistance of the cell. The losses due to this resistance
generally form only one per cent of the total losses, and area
practically negligible factor.

3. Active Material. This includes the resistance of the active
materials and the electrolyte in the pores of the active materials.
This varies considerably during charge and discharge. It has been
found that the resistance of the peroxide plate changes much more than
that of the lead plate. The change in resistance of the positive plate
is especially marked near the end of a discharge. The composition of
the active material, and the contact between it and the grid affect
the resistance considerably.

During charge, the current is sent into the cell from an external
source. The girds therefore carry most of the current. The active
material which first reacts with the acid is that near the surface of
the plate, and the acid formed by the charging current mixes readily
with the main body of electrolyte. Gradually, the charging action
takes place in the inner portions of the plate, and concentrated acid
is formed in the pores of the plate. As the sulphate is removed,
however, the acid has little difficulty in mixing with the main body
of electrolyte. The change in resistance on the charge is therefore
not considerable.

During discharge, the chemical action also begins at the surface of
the plates and gradually moves inward. In this case, however, sulphate
is formed on the surface first, and it becomes increasingly difficult
for the fresh acid from the electrolyte to diffuse into the plates so
as to replace the acid which has been greatly diluted there by the
discharge actions. There is therefore an increase in resistance
because of the dilution of the acid at the point of activity. Unless a
cell is discharged too far, however, the increase in resistance is

If a battery is allowed to stand idle for a long time it gradually
discharges itself, as explained in Chapter 10. This is due to the
formation of a tough coating of crystallized lead sulphate, which is
practically an insulator. These crystals gradually cover and enclose
the active material. The percentage change is not high, and generally
amounts to a few per cent only. The chief damage caused by the
excessive sulphation is therefore not an increase in resistance, but
consists chiefly of making a poor contact between active material and
grid, and of removing much of the active material from action by
covering it.



The manufacturers of Starting and Lighting Equipment have designed
their generators, cutouts, and current controlling devices so as to
relieve the car owner of as much work as possible in taking care of
batteries. The generators on most cars are automatically connected to
the battery at the proper time, and also disconnected from it as the
engine slows down. The amount of current which the generator delivers
to the battery is automatically prevented from exceeding a certain
maximum value. Under the average conditions of driving, a battery is
kept in a good condition. It is impossible, however, to eliminate
entirely the need of attention on the part of the car owner, and
battery repairman.

The storage battery requires but little attention, and this is the
very reason why many batteries are neglected. Motorists often have the
impression that because their work in caring for a battery is quite
simple, no harm will result if they give the battery no attention
whatever. If the battery fails to turn over the engine when the
starting switch is closed, then instruction books are studied.
Thereafter more attention is paid to the battery. The rules to be
observed in taking care of the battery which is in service on the car
are not difficult to observe. It is while on the car that a battery is
damaged, and the damage may be prevented by intelligent consideration
of the battery's housing and living conditions, just as these
conditions are made as good as possible for human beings.

1. Keep the Interior of the Battery Box Clean and Dry. On many cars
the battery is contained in an iron box, or under the seat or
floorboards. This box must be kept dry, and frequent inspection is
necessary to accomplish this. Moisture condenses easily in a metal
box, and if not removed will cause the box to become rusty. Pieces of
rust may fall on top of the battery and cause corrosion and leakage of
current between terminals.

Occasionally, wash the inside of the box with a rag dipped in ammonia,
or a solution of baking soda, and then wipe it dry. A good plan is to
paint the inside of the box with asphaltum paint. This will prevent
rusting, and at the same time will prevent the iron from being
attacked by electrolyte which may be spilled, or may leak from the

Some batteries are suspended from the car frame under the floor boards
or seat. The iron parts near such batteries should be kept dry and
free from rust. If the battery has a roof of sheet iron placed above
it, this roof should also be kept clean, dry and coated with asphaltum

  [Fig. 27 "Do not drop tools on top of battery"]

2. Put Nothing But the Battery in the Battery Box. If the battery is
contained in an iron box, do not put rags, tools, or anything else of
a similar nature in the battery box. Do not lay pliers across the top
of the battery, as shown in Fig. 27. Such things belong elsewhere. The
battery should have a free air space all around it, Fig. 28. Objects
made of metal will short-circuit the battery and lead to a repair bill.

3. Keep the battery clean and dry. The top of the battery should be
kept free of dirt, dust, and moisture. Dirt may find its way into the
cells and damage the battery. A dirty looking battery is an unsightly
object, and cleanliness should be maintained for the sake of the
appearance of the battery if for no other reason.

Moisture on top of the battery causes a leakage of current between the
terminals of the cells and tends to discharge the battery. Wipe off
all moisture and occasionally go over the tops of the cell connectors,
and terminals with a rag wet with ammonia or a solution of baking
soda. This will neutralize any acid which may be present in the

The terminals should be dried and covered with vaseline. This protects
them from being attacked by acid which may be spilled on top of the
battery. If a deposit of a grayish or greenish substance is found on
the battery terminals, handles or cell connectors, the excess should
be scraped off and the parts should then be washed with a hot solution
of baking soda (bicarbonate of soda) until all traces of the substance
have been removed. In scraping off the deposit, care should be taken
not to scrape off any lead from terminals or connectors. After washing
the parts, dry them and cover them with vaseline. The grayish or
greenish substance found on the terminals, connectors, or handles is
the result of "corrosion," or, in other words, the result of the
action of the sulphuric acid in the electrolyte upon some metallic

  [Fig. 28 Battery installed with air space on all sides]

The acid which causes the corrosion may be spilled on the battery
when hydrometer readings are taken. It may also be the result of
filling the cells too full, with subsequent expansion and overflowing
as the temperature of the electrolyte increases during charge. Loose
vent caps may allow electrolyte to be thrown out of the cell by the
motion of the car on the road. A poorly sealed battery allows
electrolyte to be thrown out through the cracks left between the
sealing compound and the jars or posts. The leaks may be caused by the
battery cables not having sufficient slack, and pulling on the

The cap which fits over the vent tube at the center of the top of each
cell is pierced by one or more holes through which gases formed within
the cell may escape. These holes must be kept open; otherwise the
pressure of the gases may blow off the top of the cell. If these holes
are found to be clogged with dirt they should be cleaned out

The wooden battery case should also be kept clean and dry. If the
battery is suspended from the frame of the car, dirt and mud from the
road will gradually cover the case, and this mud should be scraped off
frequently. Occasionally wash the case with a rag wet with ammonia, or
hot baking soda solution. Keep the case, especially along the top
edges, coated with asphaltum or some other acid proof paint.

  [Fig. 29 Battery held in place by "hold-down" bolts]

4. The battery must be held down firmly. If the battery is contained
in an iron box mounted on the running-board, or in a compartment in
the body of the car having a door at the side of the running-board, it
is usually fastened in place by long bolts which hook on the handles
or the battery case. These bolts, which are known as "hold-downs,"
generally pass through the running board or compartment, Fig. 29, and
are generally fastened in place by nuts. These nuts should be turned
up so that the battery is held down tight.

Other methods are also used to hold the battery in place, but whatever
the method, it is vital to the battery that it be held down firmly so
that the jolting of the car cannot cause it to move. The battery has
rubber jars which are brittle, and which are easily broken. Even if a
battery is held down firmly, it is jolted about to a considerable
extent, and with a loosely fastened battery, the jars are bound to be
cracked and broken.

5. The cables connected to the battery must have sufficient slack so
that they will not pull on the battery terminals, as this will result
in leaks, and possibly a broken cover.

The terminals on a battery should be in such a position that the
cables may be connected to them easily, and without bending and
twisting them. These cables are heavy and stiff, and once they are
bent or twisted they are put under a strain, and exert a great force
to straighten themselves. This action causes the cables to pull on the
terminals, which become loosened, and cause a leak, or break the cover.

  [Fig. 30 Measure height of electrolyte in battery]

6. Inspect the Battery twice every month in Winter, and once a week in
Summer, to make sure that the Electrolyte covers the plates. To do
this, remove the vent caps and look down through the vent tube. If a
light is necessary to determine the level of the electrolyte, use an
electric lamp. Never bring an open flame, such as a match or candle
near the vent tubes of a battery. Explosive gases are formed when a
battery "gasses," and the flame may ignite them, with painful injury
to the face and eyes of the observer as a result. Such an explosion
may also ruin the battery.

During the normal course of operation of the battery, water from the
electrolyte will evaporate. The acid never evaporates. The surface of
the electrolyte should be not less than one-half inch above the tops
of the plate. A convenient method of measuring the height of the
electrolyte is shown in Fig. 30. Insert one end of a short piece of a
glass tube, having an opening not less than one-eighth inch diameter,
through the filling hole, and allow it to rest on the upper edge of
the plates. Then place your finger over the upper end, and withdraw
the tube. A column of liquid will remain in the lower end of the tube,
as shown in the figure, and the height of this column is the same as
the height of the electrolyte above the top of the plates in the cell.
If this is less than one-half inch, add enough distilled water to
bring the electrolyte up to the proper level. Fig. 31 shows the
correct height of electrolyte in an Exide cell.

Never add well water, spring water, water from a stream, or ordinary
faucet water. These contain impurities which will damage the battery,
if used. It is essential that distilled water be used for this
purpose, and it must be handled carefully so as to keep impurities of
any kind out of the water. Never use a metal can for handling water or
electrolyte for a battery, but always use a glass or porcelain vessel.
The water should be stored in glass bottles, and poured into a
porcelain or glass pitcher when it is to be used.

  [Fig. 31 Correct height of electrolyte in Exide cell]

A convenient method of adding the water to the battery is to draw some
up in a hydrometer syringe and add the necessary amount to the cell by
inserting the rubber tube which is at the lower end into the vent hole
and then squeezing the bulb until the required amount has been put
into the cell.

In the summer time it makes no difference when water is added. In the
winter time, if the air temperature is below freezing (32° F), start
the engine before adding water, and keep it running for about one hour
after the battery begins to "gas." A good time to add the water is
just before starting on a trip, as the engine will then usually be run
long enough to charge the battery, and cause the water to mix
thoroughly with the electrolyte. Otherwise, the water, being lighter
than the electrolyte, will remain at the top and freeze. Be sure to
wipe off water from the battery top after filling. If battery has been
wet for sometime, wipe it with a rag dampened with ammonia or baking
soda solution to neutralize the acid.

Never add acid to a battery while the battery is on the car. By "acid"
is meant a mixture of sulphuric acid and water. The concentrated acid,
is of course, never used. The level of the electrolyte falls because
of the evaporation of the water which is mixed with the acid in the
electrolyte. The acid does not evaporate. It is therefore evident that
acid should not be added to a cell to replace the water which has
evaporated. Some men believe that a battery may be charged by adding
acid. This is not true, however, because a battery can be charged only
by passing a current through the battery from an outside source. On
the car the generator charges the battery.

It is true that acid is lost, but this is not due to evaporation, but
to the loss of some of the electrolyte from the cell, the lost
electrolyte, of course, carrying some acid with it. Electrolyte is
lost when a cell gasses; electrolyte may be spilled; a cracked jar
will allow electrolyte to leak out; if too much water is added, the
expansion of the electrolyte when the battery is charging may cause it
to run over and be lost, or the jolting of the car may cause some of
it to be spilled; if a battery is allowed to become badly sulphated,
some of the sulphate is never reduced, or drops to the bottom of the
cell, and the acid lost in the formation of the sulphate is not

If acid or electrolyte is added instead of water, when no acid is
needed, the electrolyte will become too strong, and sulphated plates
will be the result. If a battery under average driving conditions
never becomes fully charged, it should be removed from the car and
charged from an outside source as explained later. If, after the
specific gravity of the electrolyte stops rising, it is not of the
correct value, some of the electrolyte should be drawn off and
stronger electrolyte added in its place. This should be done only in
the repair shop or charging station.

Care must be taken not to add too much water to a cell, Fig. 32. This
will subsequently cause the electrolyte to overflow and run over the
top of the battery, due to the expansion of the electrolyte as the
charging current raises its temperature. The electrolyte which
overflows is, of course, lost, taking with it acid which will later be
replaced by water as evaporation takes place. The electrolyte will
then be too weak. The electrolyte which overflows will rot the wooden
battery case, and also tend to cause corrosion at the terminals.

If it is necessary to add water very frequently, the battery is
operating at too high a temperature, or else there is a cracked jar.
The high temperature may be due to the battery being charged at too
high a rate, or to the battery being placed near some hot part of the
engine or exhaust pipe. The car manufacturer generally is careful not
to place the battery too near any such hot part. The charging rate may
be measured by connecting an ammeter in series with the battery and
increasing the engine speed until the maximum current is obtained. For
a six volt battery this should rarely exceed 14 amperes. If the
charging, current does not reach a maximum value and then remain
constant, or decrease, but continues to rise as the speed of the
engine, is increased, the regulating device is out of order. An
excessive charging rate will cause continuous gassing if it is much
above normal, and the temperature of the electrolyte will be above
100° F. In this way an excessive charging current may be detected.

  [Fig. 32 Cell with level of electrolyte too high]

In hot countries or states, the atmosphere may have such a high
temperature that evaporation will be more rapid than in temperate
climates, and this may necessitate more frequent addition of water.

If one cell requires a more frequent addition of water than the
others, it is probable that the jar of that cell is cracked. Such a
cell will also show a low specific gravity, since electrolyte leaks
out and is replaced by water. A battery which has a leaky jar will
also have a case which is rotted at the bottom and sides. A battery
with a leaky jar must, of course, be removed from the car for repairs.

"Dope" Electrolytes

From time to time within the past two years, various solutions which
are supposed to give a rundown battery a complete charge within five
or ten minutes have been offered to the public. The men selling such
"dope" sometimes give a demonstration which at first sight seems to
prove their claims. This demonstration consists of holding the
starting switch down (with the ignition off) until the battery can no
longer turn over the engine. They then pour the electrolyte out of
the battery, fill it with their "dope," crank the engine by hand, run
it for five minutes, and then get gravity readings of 1.280 or over.
The battery will also crank the engine. Such a charge is merely a
drug-store charge, and the "dope" is generally composed mainly of high
gravity acid, which seemingly puts life into a battery, but in reality
causes great damage, and shortens the life of a battery. The starting
motor test means nothing. The same demonstration could be given with
any battery. The high current drawn by the motor does not discharge
the battery, but merely dilutes the electrolyte which is in the plates
to such an extent that the voltage drops to a point at which the
battery can no longer turn over the starting motor. If any battery
were given a five minutes charge after such a test, the diluted
electrolyte in the plates would be replaced by fresh acid from the
electrolyte and the battery would then easily crank the engine again.
The five minutes of running the engine does not put much charge into
the battery but gives time for the electrolyte to diffuse into the

Chemical analysis of a number of dope electrolytes has shown that they
consist mainly of high gravity acid, and that this acid is not even
chemically pure, but contains impurities which would ruin a battery
even if the gravity were not too high. The results of some of the
analyses are as follows:

No. 1. 1.260 specific gravity sulphuric acid, 25 parts iron, 13.5
parts chlorine, 12.5, per cent sodium sulphate, 1 per cent nitric acid.

No. 2. 1.335 specific gravity sulphuric acid, large amounts of organic
matter, part of which consisted of acids which attack lead.

No. 3. 1.340 specific gravity sulphuric acid, 15.5 per cent sodium

No. 4. 1.290 specific gravity sulphuric acid, 1.5 per cent sodium

No. 5. 1.300 specific gravity sulphuric acid.

If such "dope" electrolytes are added to a discharged battery, the
subsequent charging of the battery will add more acid to the
electrolyte, the specific gravity of which will then rise much higher
than it should, and the plates and separators are soon ruined.

Do not put faith in any "magic" solution which is supposed to work
wonders. There is only one way to charge a battery, and that is to
send a current through it, and there is only one electrolyte to use,
and that is the standard mixture of distilled water and chemically
pure sulphuric acid.

7. The specific gravity of the electrolyte should be measured every
two weeks and a permanent record of the readings made for future

The specific gravity of the electrolyte is the ratio of its weight to
the weight of an equal volume of water. Acid is heavier than water,
and hence the heavier the electrolyte, the more acid it, contains, and
the more nearly it is fully charged. In automobile batteries, a
specific gravity of 1.300-1.280 indicates a fully charged battery.
Generally, a gravity of 1.280 is taken to indicate a fully, charged
cell, and in this book this will be done. Complete readings are as

1.300-1.280--Fully charged.

1.280-1.200--More than half charged.

1.200-1.150--Less than half charged.

1.150 and less--Completely discharged.

  [Fig. 33 and Fig. 34: battery hydrometers]

For determining the specific gravity, a hydrometer is used. This
consists of a small sealed glass tube with an air bulb and a quantity
of shot at one end, and a graduated scale on the upper end. This scale
is marked from 1.100 to 1.300, with various intermediate markings as
shown in Fig. 33. If this hydrometer is placed in a liquid, it will
sink to a certain depth. In so doing, it will displace a certain
volume of the electrolyte, and when it comes to rest, the volume
displaced will just be equal to the weight of the hydrometer. It will
therefore sink farther in a light liquid than in a heavy one, since it
will require a greater volume of the light liquid to equal the weight
of the hydrometer. The top mark on the hydrometer scale is therefore
1.100 and the bottom one 1.300. Some hydrometers are not marked with
figures that indicate the specific gravity, but are marked with the
words "Charged," "Half Charged," "Discharged," or "Full," "Half Full,"
"Empty," in place of the figures.

The tube must be held in a vertical position, Fig. 35, and the stem of
the hydrometer must be vertical. The reading will be the number on the
stem at the surface of the electrolyte in the tube, Fig. 36. Thus if
the hydrometer sinks in the electrolyte until the electrolyte comes up
to the 1.150 mark on the stem, the specific gravity is 1.150.

  [Fig. 35 Using hydrometer for reading specific gravity]

For convenience in automobile work, the hydrometer is enclosed in a
large tube of glass or other transparent, acid proof material, having
a short length of rubber tubing at its lower end, and a large rubber
bulb at the upper end. The combination is called a hydrometer-syringe,
or simply hydrometer. See Figure 34. In measuring the specific gravity
of the electrolyte, the vent cap is removed, the bulb is squeezed (so
as to expel the air from it), and the rubber tubing inserted in the
hole from which the cap was removed. The pressure on the bulb is now
released, and electrolyte is drawn up into the glass tube. The rubber
tubing on the hydrometer should not be withdrawn from the cell. When a
sufficient amount of electrolyte has entered the tube, the hydrometer
will float. In taking a reading, there should be no pressure on the
bulb, and the hydrometer should be floating freely and not touching
the walls of the tube. The tube must not be so full of electrolyte
that the upper end of the hydrometer strikes any part of the bulb.

The tube must be held in a vertical position, Fig. 35, and the stem of
the hydrometer must be vertical. The reading will be the number on the
stem at the surface of the electrolyte in the tube, Fig. 36. Thus if
the hydrometer sinks in the electrolyte until the electrolyte comes up
to the 1.150 mark on the stem, the specific gravity is 1.150.

If the battery is located in such a position that it is impossible to
hold the hydrometer straight up, the rubber tube may be Pinched shut
with the fingers, after a sufficient quantity of electrolyte has been
drawn from the cell and the hydrometer then removed and held in a
vertical position.

Specific gravity readings should never be taken soon after distilled
water has been added to the battery. The water and electrolyte do not
mix immediately, and such readings will give misleading results. The
battery should be charged several hours before the readings are taken.
It is a good plan to take a specific gravity reading before adding any
water, since accurate results can also be obtained in this way.

  [Fig. 36 Hydrometer reading showing cell charged, half-charged,
   and discharged]

Having taken a reading, the bulb is squeezed so as to return the
electrolyte to the cell.

Care should be taken not to spill the electrolyte from the hydrometer
syringe when testing the gravity. Such moisture on top of the cells
tends to cause a short circuit between the terminals and to discharge
the battery.

In making tests with the hydrometer, the electrolyte should always be
returned to the same cell from which it was drawn.

Failure to do this will finally result in an increased proportion of
acid in one cell and a deficiency of acid in others.

The specific gravity of all cells of a battery should rise and fall
together, as the cells are usually connected in series so that the
same current passes through each cell both on charge and discharge.

If one cell of a battery shows a specific gravity which is decidedly
lower than that of the other cells in series with it, and if this
difference gradually increases, the cell showing the lower gravity has
internal trouble. This probably consists of a short circuit, and the
battery should be opened for inspection. If the electrolyte in this
cell falls faster than that of the other cells, a leaky jar is
indicated. The various cells should have specific gravities within
fifteen points of each other, such as 1.260 and 1.275.

If the entire battery shows a specific gravity below 1.200, it is not
receiving enough charge to replace the energy used in starting the
engine and supplying current to the lights, or else there is trouble
in the battery. Use starter and lights sparingly until the specific
gravity comes up to 1.280-1.300. If the specific gravity is less than
1.150 remove the battery from the car and charge it on the charging
bench, as explained later. The troubles which cause low gravity are
given on pages 321 and 322.

It is often difficult to determine what charging current should be
delivered by the generator. Some generators operate at a constant
voltage slightly higher than that of the fully charged battery, and
the charging current will change, being higher for a discharged
battery than for one that is almost or fully charged. Other generators
deliver a constant current which is the same regardless of the
battery's condition.

In the constant voltage type of generator, the charging current
automatically adjusts itself to the condition of the battery. In the
constant current type, the generator current remains constant, and the
voltage changes somewhat to keep the current constant. Individual
cases often require that another current value be used. In this case,
the output of the generator must be changed. With most generators, a
current regulating device is used which may be adjusted so as to give
a fairly wide range of current, the exact value chosen being the
result of a study of driving conditions and of several trials. The
charging current should never be made so high that the temperature of
the electrolyte in the battery remains above 90° F. A special
thermometer is very useful in determining the temperature. See Fig.
37. The thermometer bulb is immersed in the electrolyte above the
plates through the filler hole in the tops of the cells.

Batteries used on some of the older cars are divided into two or more
sections which are connected in parallel while the engine is running,
and in such cases the cables leading to the different sections should
all be of exactly the same length, and the contacts in the switch
which connect these sections in parallel should all be clean and
tight. If cables of unequal length are used, or if some of the switch
contacts are loose and dirty, the sections will not receive equal
charging currents, because the resistances of the charging circuits
will not be equal. The section having the greatest resistance in its
circuit will receive the least amount of charge, and will show lower
specific gravity readings than for other sections. In a multiple
section battery, there is therefore a tendency for the various
sections to receive unequal charges, and for one or more sections to
run down continually. An ammeter should be attached with the engine
running and the battery charging, first to one section and then to
each of the others in turn. The ammeter should be inserted and removed
from the circuit while the engine remains running and all conditions
must be exactly the same; otherwise the comparative results will not
give reliable indications. It would be better still to use two
ammeters at the same time, one on each section of the battery. In case
the amperage of charge should differ by more than 10% between any two
sections, the section receiving the low charge rate should be examined
for proper height of electrolyte, for the condition of its terminals
and its connections at the starting switch, as described. Should a
section have suffered considerably from such lack of charge, its
voltage will probably have been lowered. With all connections made
tight and clean and with the liquid at the proper height in each cell,
this section may automatically receive a higher charge until it is
brought back to normal. This high charge results from the
comparatively low voltage of the section affected.

In case the car is equipped with such a battery, each section must
carry its proper fraction of the load and with lamps turned on or
other electrical devices in operation the flow from the several
sections must be the same for each one. An examination should be made
to see that no additional lamps, such as trouble lamps or body lamps,
have been attached on one side of the battery, also that the horn and
other accessories are so connected that they draw from all sections at

Some starting systems have in the past not been designed carefully in
this respect, one section of the battery having longer cables attached
to it than the others. In such systems it is impossible for these
sections to receive as much charging current as others, even though
all connections and switches are in good condition. In other systems,
all the cells of the battery are in series, and therefore must receive
the same charging current, but have lighting wires attached to it at
intermediate points, thus dividing the battery into sections for the
lighting circuits. If the currents taken by these circuits are not
equal, the battery section supplying the heavier current will run down
faster than others. Fortunately, multiple section batteries are not
being used to any great extent at present, and troubles due to this
cause are disappearing.

The temperature of the electrolyte affects the specific gravity, since
heat causes the electrolyte to expand. If we take any battery or cell
and heat it, the electrolyte will expand and its specific gravity will
decrease, although the actual amount of acid is the same. The change
in specific gravity amounts to one point, approximately, for every
three degrees Fahrenheit. If the electrolyte has a gravity of 1.250 at
70°F, and the temperature is raised to 73°F, the specific gravity of
the battery will be 1.249. If the temperature is decreased to 67°F,
the specific gravity will be 1.251. Since the change of temperature
does not change the actual amount of acid in the electrolyte, the
gravity readings as obtained with the hydrometer syringe should be
corrected one point for every three degrees change in temperature.
Thus 70°F is considered the normal temperature, and one point is added
to the electrolyte reading for every three degrees above 70°F.
Similarly, one point is subtracted for every three degrees below 70°F.
For convenience of the hydrometer user, a special thermometer has been
developed by battery makers. This is shown in Fig. 37. It has a
special scale mounted beside the regular scale. This scale shows the
corrections which must be made when the temperature is not 70°F.
Opposite the 70° point on the thermometer is a "0" point on the
special scale. This indicates that no correction is to be made.
Opposite the 67° point on the regular scale is a -1, indicating that 1
must be subtracted from the hydrometer reading to find what the
specific gravity would be if the temperature were 70°F. Opposite the
73° point on the regular scale is a +1, indicating that 1 point must
be added to reading on the hydrometer, in order to reduce the reading
of specific gravity to a temperature of 70°F.

  [Fig. 37 Special thermometer]

8. Storage batteries are strongly affected by changes in temperature.
Both extremely high and very low temperatures are to be avoided. At
low temperatures the electrolyte grows denser, the porosity of plates
and separators decreases, circulation and diffusion of electrolyte are
made difficult, chemical actions between plates and acid take place
very slowly, and the whole battery becomes sluggish, and acts as if it
were numbed with cold. The voltage and capacity of the battery are

As the battery temperature increases, the density of the electrolyte
decreases, the plates and separators become more porous, the internal
resistance decreases, circulation and diffusion of electrolyte take
place much more quickly, the chemical actions between plates and
electrolyte proceed more rapidly, and the battery voltage and capacity
increase. A battery therefore works better at high temperatures.

Excessive temperatures, say over 110° F, are, however, more harmful
than low temperatures. Evaporation of the water takes place very
rapidly, the separators are attacked by the hot acid and are ruined,
the active materials and plates expand to such an extent that the
active materials break away from the grids and the grids warp and
buckle. The active materials themselves are burned and made
practically useless. The hot acid also attacks the grids and the
sponge lead and forms dense layers of sulphate. Such temperatures are
therefore extremely dangerous.

A battery that persistently runs hot, requiring frequent addition of
water, is either receiving too much charging current, or has internal
trouble. The remedy for excessive charge is to decrease the output of
the generator, or to burn the lamps during the day time. Motorists who
make long touring trips in which considerable day driving is done,
with little use of the starter, experience the most trouble from high
temperature. The remedy is either to decrease the charging rate or
burn the lamps, even in the day time.

Internal short-circuits cause excessive temperature rise, both on
charge and discharge. Such short circuits usually result from buckled
plates which break through the separators, or from an excessive amount
of sediment. This sediment consists of active material or lead
sulphate which has dropped from the positive plate and fallen to the
bottom of the battery jar. All battery jars are provided with ridges
which keep the plates raised an inch or more from the bottom of the
jar, and which form pockets into which the materials drop. See Fig.
10. If these pockets become filled, and the sediment reaches the
bottom of the plates, internal short circuits result which cause the
battery to run down and cause excessive temperatures.

If the electrolyte is allowed to fall below the tops of the plates,
the parts of the plates above the acid become dry, and when the
battery is charged grow hot. The parts still covered by the acid also
become hot because all the charging current is carried by these parts,
and the plate surface is less than before. The water will also become
hot and boil away. A battery which is thus "charged while dry"
deteriorates rapidly, its life being very short.

If a battery is placed in a hot place on the car, this heat in
addition to that caused by charging will soften the plates and jars,
and shorten their life considerably.

In the winter, it is especially important not to allow the battery to
become discharged, as there is danger of the electrolyte freezing. A
fully charged battery will not freeze except at an extremely low
temperature. The water expands as it freezes, loosening the active
materials, and cracking the grids. As soon as a charging current thaws
the battery, the active material is loosened, and drops to the bottom
of the jars, with the result that the whole battery may disintegrate.
Jars may also be cracked by the expansion of the water when a battery

To avoid freezing, a battery should therefore be kept charged, The
temperatures at which electrolyte of various specific gravities
freezes are as follows:

Specific Gravity   Freezing Pt.   Specific Gravity   Freezing Pt.
----------------   ------------   ----------------   ------------
1.000               32 deg. F        1.200            -16 deg. F
1.050               26 deg. F        1.250            -58 deg. F
1.100               18 deg. F        1.280            -92 deg. F
1.150                5 deg. F        1.300            -96 deg. F

9. Care of Storage Battery When Not in Service. A storage battery may
be out of service for a considerable period at certain times of the
year, for example, when the automobile is put away during the winter
months, and during this time it should not be allowed to stand without
attention. When the battery is to be out of service for only three or
four weeks, it should be kept well filled with distilled water and
given as complete a charge as possible the last few days, the car is
in service by using the lamps and starting motor very sparingly. The
specific gravity of the electrolyte in each cell should be tested, and
it should be somewhere between 1.280 and 1.300. All connections to the
battery should be removed, as any slight discharge current will in
time completely discharge it, and the possibilities of such an
occurrence are to be avoided. If the battery is to be put out of
service for several months, it should be given a complete charge by
operating the generator on the car or by connecting it to an outside
charging circuit. During the out-of-service period, water should be
added to the cells every six or eight weeks and the battery given what
is called a freshening charge; that is, the engine should be run until
the cells have been gassing for perhaps one hour, and the battery may
then be allowed to stand for another similar period without further
attention. Water should be added and the battery fully charged before
it is put back into service. It is desirable to have the temperature
of the room where the battery is stored fairly constant and as near 70
degrees Fahrenheit as possible.



The Storage Battery is a most faithful servant, and if given even a
fighting chance, will respond instantly to the demands made upon it.
Given reasonable care and consideration, it performs its duties
faithfully for many months. When such care is lacking, however, it is
soon discovered that the battery is subject to a number of diseases,
most of which are "preventable," and all of which, if they do not kill
the battery, at least, greatly impair its efficiency.

In discussing these diseases, we may consider the various parts of
which a battery is composed, and describe the troubles to which they
are subject. Every battery used on an automobile is composed of:

    1.  Plates
    2.  Separators
    3.  Jars in which Plates, Separators, and Electrolyte are placed
    4.  Wooden case
    5.  Cell Connectors, and Terminals
    6.  Electrolyte

Most battery diseases are contagious, and if one part fails, some of
the other parts are Affected. These diseases may best be considered in
the order in which the parts are given in the foregoing list.


Plates are the "vitals" of a battery, and their troubles affect the
life of the battery more seriously than those of the other parts. It
is often difficult to diagnose their troubles, and the following
descriptions are given to aid in the diagnosis.


1. Over discharge. Some battery men say that a battery is suflphated
whenever anything is wrong with it. Sulphation is the formation of
lead sulphate on the plates. As a battery of the lead acid type
discharges, lead sulphate must form. There can be no discharge of such
a battery without the formation of lead sulphate, which is the natural
product of the chemical reactions by virtue of which current may be
drawn from the battery. This sulphate gradually replaces the lead
peroxide of the positive plate, and the spongy lead of the negative
plate. When a battery has been discharged until the voltage per cell
has fallen to the voltage limits, considerable portions of the lead
peroxide and spongy lead remain on the plates. The sulphate which is
then present is in a finely divided, porous condition, and can readily
be changed back to lead peroxide and spongy lead by charging the

If the discharge is continued after the voltage has fallen to the
voltage limits, an excessive amount of sulphate forms. It fills up the
pores in the active materials, and covers up much of the active
material which remains, so that it is difficult to change the sulphate
back to active material. Moreover, the expansion of active material
which takes place as the sulphate forms is then so great that it
causes the active material to break off from the plate and drop to the
bottom of the jar.

2. Allowing a Battery to Stand Idle. When lead sulphate is first
formed, it is in a finely divided, porous condition, and the
electrolyte soaks through it readily. If a battery which has been
discharged is allowed to stand idle without being charged, the lead
sulphate crystals grow by the combination of the crystals to form
larger crystals. The sulphate, instead of having a very large surface
area, upon which the electrolyte may act in changing the sulphate to
active material, as it does when it is first formed, now presents only
a very small surface to the electrolyte, and it is therefore only with
great difficulty that the large crystals of sulphate are changed to
active material. The sulphate is a poor conductor, and furthermore, it
covers up much of the remaining active material so that the
electrolyte cannot reach it.

A charged battery will also become sulphated if allowed to stand idle,
because it gradually becomes discharged, even though no wires of any
kind are attached to the battery terminals. How this takes place is
explained later. The discharge and formation of sulphate continue
until the battery is completely discharged. The sulphate then
gradually forms larger crystals as explained in the preceding
paragraph, until all of the active material is either changed to
sulphate, or is covered over by the sulphate so that the electrolyte
cannot reach it. The sulphate thus forms a high resistance coating
which hinders the passage of charging current through the battery and
causes heating on charge. It is for this reason that sulphated plates
should be charged at a low rate. The chemical actions which are
necessary to change the sulphate to active material can take place but
very slowly, and thus only a small current can be absorbed. Forcing a
large current through a sulphated battery causes heating since the
sulphate does not form uniformly throughout the plate, and the parts
which are the least sulphated will carry the charging current, causing
them to become heated. The heating damages the plates and separators,
and causes buckling, as explained later.

If batteries which have been discharged to the voltage limits are
allowed to stand idle without being charged, they will, of course,
continue to discharge themselves just as fully charged batteries do
when allowed to stand idle.

3. Starvation. If a battery is charged and discharged intermittently,
and the discharge is greater than the charge, the battery will never
be fully charged, and lead sulphate will always be present. Gradually
this sulphate forms the large tough crystals that cover the active
material and remove it from action. This action continues until all
parts of the plate are covered with the crystalline sulphate and we
have the same condition that results when a battery is allowed to
stand idle without any charge.

4. Allowing Electrolyte to Fall Below Tops of Plates. If the
electrolyte is allowed to fall below the tops of the plates, so that
the active materials are exposed to the air, the parts thus exposed
will gradually become sulphated. The spongy lead of the negative
plate, being in a very finely divided state, offers a very large
surface to the oxygen of the air, and is rapidly oxidized, the
chemical action causing the active material to become hot. The
charging current, in passing through the parts of the plates not
covered by the electrolyte also heats the active materials. The
electrolyte which occasionally splashes over the exposed parts of the
plates and which rises in the pores of the separators, is heated also,
and since hot acid attacks the active materials readily, sulphation
takes place quickly. The parts above the electrolyte, of course,
cannot be charged and sulphate continues to form. Soon the whole
exposed parts are sulphated as shown in Fig. 209.

As the level of the electrolyte drops, the electrolyte becomes
stronger, because it is only the water which evaporates, the acid
remaining and becoming more and more concentrated. The remaining
electrolyte and the parts of the plates covered by it become heated by
the current, because there is a smaller plate area to carry the
current, and because the resistance of the electrolyte increases as it
grows more concentrated. Since hot acid attacks the active materials,
sulphation also takes place in the parts of the plates still covered
by the electrolyte.

The separators in a battery having the electrolyte below the tops of
the plates suffer also, as will be explained later. See page 346.

5. Impurities. These are explained later. See page 76.

6. Adding Acid Instead of Water. The sulphuric acid in the electrolyte
is a heavy, oily liquid that does not evaporate. It is only the water
in the electrolyte which evaporates. Therefore, when the level of the
electrolyte falls, only water should be added to bring the electrolyte
to the correct height. There are, however, many car owners who still
believe that a battery may be charged by adding acid when the level of
the electrolyte falls. Batteries in which this is done then contain
too much acid. This leads to two troubles. The first is that the
readings taken with a hydrometer will then be misleading. A specific
gravity of 1.150 is always taken to indicate that a battery is
discharged, and a specific gravity of 1.280 that a battery is charged.
These two values of specific gravity indicate a discharged and charged
condition of the battery ONLY WHEN THE PROPORTION OF ACID IN THE
ELECTROLYTE IS CORRECT. It is the condition of the plates, and not the
specific gravity of the electrolyte which determines when a battery is
either charged or discharged. With the correct proportion of acid in
the electrolyte, the specific gravity of the electrolyte is 1.150 when
the plates are discharged and 1.280 when the plates are charged, and
that is why specific gravity readings are generally used as an
indication of the condition of the battery.

If there is too much acid in the electrolyte, the plates will be in a
discharged condition before the specific gravity of the electrolyte
drops to 1.150, and will not be in a charged condition until after the
specific gravity has risen beyond the usual value. As a result of
these facts a battery may be over-discharged, and never fully charged,
this resulting in the formation of sulphate.

The second trouble caused by adding acid to the electrolyte is that
the acid will then be too concentrated and attacks both plates and
separators. This will cause the plates to become sulphated, and the
separators rotted.

7. Overheating. This was explained in Chapter 9. See page 66.


Buckling is the bending or twisting of plates due to unequal expansion
of the different parts of the plate, Figs. 207 and 208. It is natural
and unavoidable for plates to expand. As a battery discharges, lead
sulphate forms. This sulphate occupies more space than the lead
peroxide and spongy lead, and the active materials expand. Heat
expands both active materials and grids. As long as all parts of a
plate expand equally, no buckling will occur. Unequal expansion,
however, causes buckling.

1. Over discharge. If discharge is carried too far, the expansion of
the active material on account of the formation of lead sulphate will
bend the grids out of shape, and may even break them.

2. Continued Operation with Battery in a Discharged Condition. When a
considerable amount of lead sulphate has, formed, and current is still
drawn from the battery, those portions of the plate which have the
least amount of sulphate will carry most of the current, and will
therefore become heated and expand. The parts covered with sulphate
will not expand, and the result is that the parts that do expand will
twist the plate out of shape. A normal rate of discharge may be
sufficient to cause buckling in a sulphated plate.

3. Charging at High Rates. If the charging rate is excessive, the
temperature will rise so high that excessive expansion will take
place. This is usually unequal in the different parts of the plate,
and buckling results. With a battery that has been over discharged,
the charging current will be carried by those parts of the plates
which are the least sulphated. These parts will therefore expand while
others will not, and buckling results.

4. Non-Uniform Distribution of Current Over the Plates. Buckling may
occur in a battery which has not been over-discharged, if the current
carried by the various parts of the plate is not uniform on account of
faulty design, or careless application of the paste. This is a fault
of the manufacturers, and not the operating conditions.

5. Defective Grid Alloy. If the metals of which the grids are composed
are not uniformly mixed throughout the plate, areas of pure lead may
be left here and there, with air holes at various points. The
electrolyte enters the air holes, attacks the lead and converts the
grid partly into active material. This causes expansion and consequent
distortion and buckling.

Buckling will not necessarily cause trouble, and batteries with
buckled plates may operate satisfactorily for a long time. If,
however, the expansion and twisting has caused much of the active
material to break away from the grid, or has loosened the active
material from the grids, much of the battery capacity is lost. Another
danger is that the lower edges of a plate may press against the
separator with sufficient force to cut through it, touch the next
plate, and cause a short-circuit.

Shedding, or Loss of Active Material

The result of shedding, provided no other troubles occur, is simply to
reduce the capacity of the plates. The positives, of course, suffer
more from shedding than the negatives do, shedding being one of the
chief weaknesses of the positives. There is no remedy for this
condition. When the shedding has taken place to such an extent that
the capacity of the battery has fallen very low, new plates should be
installed. After a time, the sediment space in the bottom of the jar
becomes filled with sediment, which touches the plates. This
short-circuits the cell, of course, and new plates must be installed,
and the jars washed out thoroughly.

1. Normal Shedding. It is natural and unavoidable for the positives to
shed. Lead Peroxide is a powder-like substance, the particles of which
do not hold together. A small amount of sulphate will cement the
particles together to a considerable extent. At the surface of the
plate, however, this sulphate is soon changed to active material, and
the peroxide loses its coherence. Particles of peroxide drop from the
plates and fall, into the space in the bottom of the jar provided for
this purpose.

Bubbles of gas which occur at the end of a charge blow some of the
peroxide particles from the plate. The electrolyte moving about as the
battery is jolted by the motion of the car washes particles of
peroxide from the positive plates. Any slight motion between positive
plates and separators rubs some peroxide from the plates. It is
therefore entirely natural for shedding to occur, especially at the
positives. The spongy lead of the negatives is much more elastic than
the peroxide, and hence very little shedding occurs at the negative
plates. The shedding at the positives explains why the grooved side of
the separator is always placed against the positive plate. The
grooves, being vertical, allow the peroxide to fall to the bottom of
the jar, where it accumulates as sediment, or "mud."

2. Excessive Charging Rate, or Overcharging. If a battery is charged
at too high a rate, only part of the current is used to produce the
chemical actions by which the battery is charged. The balance of the
current decomposes the water of the electrolyte into hydrogen and
oxygen, causing gassing. As the bubbles of gas force their way out of
the plates, they blow off particles of the active material.

When a battery is overcharged, the long continued gassing has the same
effect as described in the preceding paragraph.

3. Charging Sulphated Plates at too High a Rate. In sulphated plates,
the chemical actions which take place as a battery is charged can
proceed but very slowly, because the sulphate, besides being a poor
conductor, has formed larger crystals which present only a small
surface for the electrolyte to act upon, and has also covered up much
of the remaining active material. Since the chemical actions take
place slowly, the charging current must be kept at a low value. If too
heavy a charging current is used, the battery will be overheated, and
some of the current will simply cause gassing as explained in No. 2
above. The gas bubbles will break off pieces of the sulphate, which
then fall to the bottom of the jars as "mud."

4. Charging Only a Part of the Plate. If the electrolyte falls below
the tops of the plates, and the usual charging current is sent into
the battery, the current will be too great for the plate area through
which it passes, and hence gassing and shedding will result as already

The same condition exists in a battery in which one or more plates
have been broken from the strap, either because of mechanical
vibration or because of impurities such as acetic acid in improperly
treated separators. The remaining plates are called upon to do more
work, and carry the entire charging current. Gassing and shedding will

5. Freezing. If a battery is given any care whatever, there is little
danger of freezing. The electrolyte of a fully charged battery with a
specific gravity of 1.280 freezes at about 92° below zero. With a
specific gravity of 1.150, the electrolyte freezes at about 5° above
zero. A frozen battery therefore indicates gross neglect.

As the electrolyte freezes, the water of the electrolyte expands.
Since there is electrolyte in all the inner parts of the plate, the
expansion as the water in the paste freezes forces the pastes out of
the grids. The expansion also cracks the rubber jars, and sometimes
bulges out the ends of the battery case.

Loose Active Material

This refers to a condition in which the active materials are no longer
in contact with the grid. Corrosion, or sulphation, of the grids
themselves is generally present at the same time, since the chemical
actions are shifted from the active material to the grids themselves.

1. Over discharge. As a battery discharges, the lead sulphate which
forms causes an expansion of the active material. If a battery is
repeatedly over-discharged, this results in the positives shedding. In
the negatives, the spongy lead is puffed out, resulting in the
condition known as "bulged negatives" as illustrated in Fig 122.

2. Buckling. As a plate grid is bent out of shape, the active
material, especially the peroxide, breaks loose from the grid, since
the peroxide cannot bend as much as the grids. This occurs in the
negatives also, though not to such an extent as in the positives.

If the plates are buckled to such an extent that the element will not
go back into the jar, the positives should be discarded. If the
positives are buckled, the negatives will be also, but not to the
extent that the positives are.

In the case of the positives, there is no remedy, and the plates
should be discarded. The negatives, however, may be fully charged, and
then straightened, and the active material forced back flush with the
grids by pressings, as described in Chapter 15.


Impurities may be divided into two general classes. The first class
includes those which do not attack the separators or grids, but merely
cause internal self-discharge. The second class includes those which
attack the grids or separators.

1. Impurities Which Merely Cause Self-discharge. This includes metals
other than lead. If these metals are in solution in the electrolyte,
they deposit on the negative plate, during charge, in their ordinary
metallic state, and form small cells with the spongy lead. These small
cells discharge as soon as the charging circuit is opened, and some of
the lead is changed to lead sulphate. This, of course, causes a loss
in capacity. Free hydrogen is given off by this local discharge, and
so much of it is at times given off that the hydrogen bubbles give the
electrolyte a milky appearance.

Silver, gold, and platinum are the most active in forming small local
cells. These metals form local cells which have comparatively high
voltages, and which take away a considerable portion of the energy of
a cell. Platinum is especially active, and a small amount of platinum
will prevent a negative plate from taking a charge. Gradually,
however, the spongy lead covers up the foreign metal and prevents it
from forming local cells.

Iron also forms local cells which rob the cell of a considerable
portion of its capacity. This may be brought into the cell by impure
acid or water. Iron remains in solution in the electrolyte, and is not
precipitated as metallic iron. The iron in solution travels from the
positive to the negative plate, and back again, causing a local
discharge at each plate. It is, moreover, very difficult to remove the
iron, except by pouring out all of the electrolyte. Manganese acts the
same as the iron.

2. Impurities Which Attack the Plates. In general, this class includes
acids other than sulphuric acid, compounds formed from such acids, or
substances which will readily form acids by chemical action in the
cell. Nitric acid, hydrochloric or muriatic acid, and acetic acid
belong in this class of impurities. Organic matter in a state of
decomposition attacks the lead grids readily.

Impurities in the second class dissolve the lead grids, and the plate
disintegrates and falls to pieces, since its backbone is destroyed.
When a battery which contains these impurities is opened, it will be
found that the plates crumble and fall apart at the slightest touch.
See Fig. 210.

Separators which have not been treated properly introduce acetic acid
into a cell. The acetic acid attacks and rots the lead, especially the
lugs projecting above the electrolyte, and the plate connecting
straps. The plates will generally be found broken from the connecting
strap, with the plate lugs broken and crumbled.

As for remedies, there is not much to be done. Impurities in the first
class merely decrease the capacity of the battery. If the battery is
fully charged, and the negatives then washed thoroughly, some of the
impurities may be removed. Impurities of the second class have
generally damaged the plates beyond repairs by the time their presence
is suspected.

The best thing to do is to keep impurities out of the battery. This
means that only distilled water, which is known to be absolutely free
from impurities should be used.

Impurities which exist in the separators or acid cannot be detected
readily, but in repairing a battery, separators furnished by one of
the reliable battery makers should be used. Pure acid should also be
used. This means that only chemically pure, or "C. P." acid, also
known as battery acid should be used. In handling the acid in the
shop, it should always be kept in its glass bottle, and should be
poured only into a glass, porcelain, earthenware, lead, or rubber
vessel. Never use a vessel made of any other material.

Corroded Grids

When the grids of a plate are attacked chemically, they become thin
and weak, and may be spoken of as being corroded.

1. Impurities. Those impurities which attack the lead grids, such as
acids other than sulphuric acid, compounds formed from these acids, or
substances which will readily form acids dissolve some of the lead
which composes the grids. The grids gradually become weakened. The
decrease in the amount of metal in the grids increases the internal
resistance of the cell and give a tendency for temperatures to be
higher in the cell. The contact between grids and active material is
in time made poor. If the action of the impurities continues for any
length of time, the plate becomes very weak, and breaks at the
slightest touch.

2. High Temperatures. Anything that raises the temperature of the
electrolyte, such as too high a charging rate, causes the acid to
attack the grids and form a layer of sulphate on them. The sulphate is
changed to active material on charge, and the grids are thereby

3. Age. Grids gradually become weak and brittle as a battery remains
in service. The acid in the electrolyte, even though the electrolyte
has the correct gravity and temperature, has some effect upon the
grids, and in time this weakens them. During the life of a battery it
is at times subjected to high temperatures, impurities, sulphation,
etc., the combined effects of which result in a gradual weakening of
the grids.

Granulated Negatives

1. Age. The spongy lead of the negative plate gradually assumes a
"grainy" or "granulated" appearance. The lead then seems to be made up
of small grains, like grains of sand, instead of being a smooth paste.
This action is a natural one, and is due to the gradual increase in
the size of the particles of the lead. The plate loses its porosity,
the particles cementing together and closing the pores in the lead.
The increase in the size of the particles of the spongy lead decreases
the amount of surface exposed to the action of the electrolyte, and
the plate loses capacity. Such plates should be thrown away, as
charging and discharging will not bring the paste back to its original

2. Heat will also cause the paste to become granulated, and its
surface to become rough or even blistered.

Heating of Negatives Exposed to the Air

When charged negatives are exposed to the air, there is a decided
increase in their temperature. Spongy lead is in an extremely finely
divided state, the particles of lead being very minute, and forming a
very porous mass. When the plate is exposed to the air, rapid
oxidation takes place because the oxygen of the air has a very large
surface to act upon. The oxidation causes the lead to become heated.
The heating, of course, raises the temperature of the electrolyte, and
the hot acid attacks both grids and lead.

Fully charged negatives should therefore be watched carefully when
removed from a battery. When they become heated and begin to steam,
they should be dipped in water until they have cooled. They may then
be removed from the water, but should be dipped whenever they begin to
steam. After they no longer heat, they may be left exposed to the air.

This method of dipping the negatives to prevent overheating has always
been followed. However, the Electric Storage Battery Company, which
makes the Exide batteries, does not take any steps to prevent the
heating of the negatives when exposed to the air, stating that their
plates are not injured by the heating which takes place.

Negatives With Very Hard Active Material

This is the characteristic condition of badly sulphated negatives. The
active material may be as hard as a stone. The best method of treating
such negatives is to charge them in distilled water. See Chapter 15.

Bulged Negatives

This is a characteristic of a repeatedly over-discharged negative. The
lead sulphate which forms as a battery discharges is bulkier than the
spongy lead, and the lead expands and bulges out between the ribs of
the grid.

Negative With Soft, Mushy Active Material

1. High Gravity. Gravity above 1.300 causes the acid to act upon the
spongy lead and soften it.

2. Heat will soften the spongy lead also. The softened spongy lead is
loosened and falls from the grids, as shown in Fig. 211. Little can be
done for such negatives.

Negatives With Roughened Surface

This is caused by slight overheating, and is not a serious condition.

Frozen Positives

A battery which is allowed to stand in a cold place while completely
discharged will freeze. The water in the electrolyte expands as it
freezes, cracking the rubber jars and bulging out the end of the
wooden case. As the electrolyte which fills the pores of the positive
plates freezes and expands, it breaks the active material loose from
the grids. When the battery thaws, the active material does not go
back into the grids. When such a battery is opened, and the groups
separated, the positive active material sticks to the separators in
large pieces, Fig. 112, and that remaining in the grids falls out very
easily. The active material has a pinkish color and is badly shrunken.

Rotted, Disintegrated Positives

1. Impurities. This has already been discussed. See page 76.

2. Overheating. The hot electrolyte dissolves the lead of the grids
and that which is dissolved is never converted back to lead. Continued
overheating wears out the grids, and the active material also, and the
plate falls to pieces at the slightest pressure.

3. Age. Positives gradually disintegrate due to the prolonged action
of the electrolyte on the grids, an occasional overheating, occasional
use of impure water, etc.

Positives which are rotted and disintegrated are, of course, hopeless,
and must be junked.

Buckled Positives

As previously described, buckling is caused by unequal expansion. If
the buckling is only slight, the plates may be used as they are. If
the plates are badly buckled, the active material will be found to be
loose, and the plates cannot be straightened. Such positives should be

Positives That Have Lost Considerable Active Material

This is the result of continued shedding, the causes of which have
already been given. If the shedding is only slight, and the plate is
good otherwise, it may be used again. If such active material has been
lost, the plates must be discarded.

Positives With Soft Active Material

Continued operation at high temperatures, will soften the peroxide,
and make the plates unfit for further use. Old positives are soft,
clue to the natural deterioration of the paste with age.

Positives With Hard, Shiny Active Material

This condition is found in batteries that have been charged with the
acid below the tops of the plates. The part of the plate above the
acid is continually being heated by the charging current. It becomes
hard and shiny, and has cracks running through it. The peroxide
becomes orange or brick colored, and the grid deteriorates. The part
of the plate below the electrolyte suffers also, as explained more
fully on page 71. Such plates should be discarded if any considerable
portion of the plates is affected. Plates in which 1/2 to 1 inch of
the upper parts are affected may be used again if otherwise in good

Plates Which Have Been Charged in Wrong Direction

Such plates have been partly reversed, so that there is lead peroxide
and spongy lead on both positive and negative plates, and such plates
are generally worthless. If the active materials have not become
loosened from the grids, and the grids have not been disintegrated and
broken, the plates may sometimes be reversed by a long charge at a low
rate in the right direction. If this does not restore the plates,
discard them.


Separators form the weakest part of a battery, but at the same time
perform a very important duty. New separators should therefore be
installed whenever a battery is opened for repairs. Repairs should
never be attempted on separators.

1. Not Properly Expanded Before Installation. Separators in stock must
be kept moist. This not only prevents them from becoming dry and
brittle, but keeps them fully expanded. If separators which have been
kept dry in stock are installed in a battery, they do their expanding
inside the battery. This causes them to project beyond the edges of
the plates. The crowding to which they are subjected causes them to
crack. Cracked separators permit "treeing" between plates, with a
consequent short circuit.

2. Not Properly Treated. Separators which have not been given the
proper chemical treatment are likely to develop Acetic acid after they
are in the battery. Acetic acid dissolves the lead grids, the plate
lugs, and the plate connecting straps rapidly. If the plate lugs are
found broken, and crumble easily, acetic acid is very likely present,
especially if an odor like that of vinegar is noticeable. Improperly
treated separators will cause a battery to show low voltage at high
rates of discharge, particularly in cold weather, and will also cause
the negatives to give poor cadmium readings, which may lead the
repairman to conclude that the negatives are defective. The
separators of batteries which have been shipped completely assembled
without electrolyte and with moistened plates and separators will
sometimes have the same effect.

3. Cracked. Separators should be carefully "candled"--placed in front
of a light and looked through. Cracks, resinous streaks, etc., mean
that the separator should not be used, as it will breed trouble.

4. Rotted and Carbonized. This may be the result of old age,
overheating, or high gravity electrolyte.

5. Pores Clogged. Impurities, dirt from impure water, and lead
sulphate fill the pores of a separator and prevent the proper
circulation of the electrolyte. The active material of frozen
positives also fills up the pores of a separator.

6. Edges Chiseled Off. A buckling plate will cut through the lower
edge of a separator and short circuit the cell. Holes will be cut
through any part of a separator by a buckling plate, or a negative
with bulged active material.


Battery jars are made of hard rubber, and are easily broken. They are
not acted upon by the electrolyte, or any of the impurities which may
be found in the jar. Their troubles are all mechanical, and consist of
being cracked, or having small holes through the walls. Jars are
softened by high temperatures, but this does no particular harm unless
they are actually burned by an open flame or red hot metal. The causes
of jar troubles are as follows:

1. Rough Handling. By far the most common cause of jar breakage is
rough handling by careless or inexperienced persons. If one end of a
battery rests on the floor, and the other is allowed to drop several
inches, broken jars will probably result from the severe impact of the
heavy lead plates. Storage batteries should be handled as if made of
glass. When installed on a car, the springs protect the battery from
shock to a considerable extent, but rough roads or exceptionally
severe jolts may break jars.

2. Battery Not Properly Fastened. In this case a battery is bumped
around inside the battery compartment, and damage is very likely to

3. Any Weight Placed on Top of the Battery is transmitted from the
links to the plates, and by them to the bottom of the jars. Batteries
should always be stored in racks, and not one on top of another. The
practice of putting any weight whatever on top of a battery should be
promptly discouraged.

4. Freezing. This condition has already been explained. It causes a
great many broken jars every winter.

5. Groups Not Properly Trimmed. The outside negative plates in a cell
come just inside the jar, and the strap ends must be carefully trimmed
off flush with the plates, to prevent them from breaking the top of
the jars. Jars have slightly rounded corners, and are somewhat
narrower at the extreme ends than nearer the center. A group may
therefore go into a jar quite readily when moved toward the other end
of the jar to that into which the post strap must go when in proper
position for the cover. When the group is forced back into its proper
position the strap may break the jar. It is a good plan not only to
trim the ends of the negative straps perfectly flush, but to round the
strap corners where they go into the jar corners.

6. Defective Jars. (a) A jar not properly vulcanized may come apart at
the scam. (b) A small impurity in the rubber may dissolve in the acid
and leave a minute pinhole. All jars are carefully tested at the
factory and the likelihood of trouble from defective jars is extremely

7. Explosion in Cell. (a) Hydrogen and oxygen gases evolved during
charging make a very explosive mixture. An open flame brought near a
battery on charge or freshly charged, will probably produce an
explosion resulting in broken jars and jar covers. (b) An open circuit
produced inside a cell on charge in the manner described on page 86
under the heading "Open Circuits," will cause a spark at the instant
the circuit is broken, with the same result as bringing a flame near
the battery. (c) The small holes in the vents must be kept free for
the escape of the gases. These holes are usually sealed in batteries
shipped with moistened plates and separators, to keep air out of the
cells. The seals must be removed when the battery is prepared for
service. If the vents remain plugged, the pressure of the gases formed
during charge will finally burst the covers of jars.


1. Ends Bulged Out. This may be due to a battery having been frozen or
to hold-downs being screwed down too tight, or some similar cause.
Whether the case can be repaired depends on the extent of the bulging.
This can best be determined by the repairman.

2. Rotted. If the case is rotted around the top, it is evidence that:
(a) Too much water was added, with subsequent overflowing when
electrolyte warmed up during charge. (b) The tops were poorly sealed,
resulting in leaks between the covers and the jars. (c) Battery has
not been fastened down properly, and acid has been thrown out of the
jars by the jolting of the car on the road. (d) The vent plugs have
not been turned down tightly. (e) Electrolyte has been spilled in
measuring specific gravity.

If the case is rotted around the lower part it indicates that the jars
are cracked or contain holes. Instructions for making repairs on
battery cases are given on page 360.


1. Corroded. This is a very common trouble, and one which should be
guarded against very carefully. Corrosion is indicated by the presence
of a grayish or greenish substance on the battery terminals,
especially the positive. It is due to several causes:

(a) Too much water added to cells. The electrolyte expands on charge
and flows out on the top of the battery.

(b) Battery not fastened firmly. The jolting caused by the motion of
the car on the road will cause electrolyte to be thrown out of the
vent caps.

(c) Battery poorly sealed. The electrolyte will be thrown out on the
cover by the motion of the car through the leaks which result from
poor sealing.

(d) Vent caps loose. This also allows electrolyte to be thrown out on
the battery top.

(e) Electrolyte spilled on top of battery in measuring specific

(f) Battery cables damaged, or loose. The cables attached to the
battery terminals are connected to lugs which are heavily coated with
lead. The cables are insulated with rubber, upon which sulphuric acid
has no effect. Care should be taken that the lead coating is not worn
off, and that the rubber insulation is not broken or cut so as to
allow electrolyte, which is spilled on the battery top as explained in
(a), (b), (c), (d) and (e), to reach the bare copper conductors of the
cable. The terminal parts are always so made that when the connections
are kept tight no acid can come into contact with anything but lead
and rubber, neither of which is attacked by sulphuric acid.

(g) Attaching wires directly to battery terminals. There should be no
exposed metal except lead at the battery terminals. No wires of any
other metal should be attached to the battery terminals. Such wires
should be connected to the rubber covered cables which are attached to
battery, and the connections should be made far enough away from the
battery to prevent electrolyte from coming in contact with the wire.
Car manufacturers generally observe this rule, but the car owner may,
through ignorance, attach copper wires directly to the battery
terminals. The positive terminal is especially subject to corrosion,
and should be watched carefully. To avoid corrosion it is necessary
simply to keep the top of the battery dry, keep the terminal
connections tight, and coat the terminals with vaseline. The rule
about connecting wires directly to the battery terminals must of
course be observed also.

2. Loose. Loose terminal connections cause a loss of energy due to
their resistance, and all such connections must be well made. If the
inter-cell connectors are loose, it is due to a poor job of lead
burning. This is also true of burned on terminals, and in either case,
the connections should be drilled off, cleaned and re-burned.

Terminals sometimes become so badly corroded that it is impossible to
disconnect the cables front the battery. Stitch terminals should be
drilled off and soaked in boiling soda water.


(1) Low Gravity. See page 321.

(2) High Gravity. See page 323.

(3) Low Level. See page 323.

(4) High Level. This condition is due to the addition of too much
water. It leads to corrosion as already explained. It also causes a
loss of acid. The Electrolyte which overflows is lost, this of course,
causing a loss of acid. The condition of Low Gravity then arises, as
described on page 321.

(5) Specific gravity will not rise during charge. See page 204.

(6) Milky Electrolyte:

(a) Lead Sulphate in Battery Acid. It sometimes happens that sulphuric
acid contains some lead sulphate in solution. This sulphate is
precipitated when water is added to the acid in mixing electrolyte,
and gives the electrolyte a milky appearance. This sulphate settles if
the electrolyte is allowed to stand.

(b) Gassing. The most common cause of the milky appearance, however,
is the presence of minute gas bubbles in large quantities. These may
be the result of local action caused by the presence of metallic
impurities in the battery. The local action will stop when the battery
is put on charge, but will begin as soon as the battery is taken off
charge. The impurities are gradually covered by lead or lead sulphate,
and the local action is thus stopped.

Excessive gassing in a cell which contains no impurities may also
cause the electrolyte to have a milky appearance. The gas bubbles are
very numerous and make the electrolyte look milky white.

(c) Impurities in the electrolyte will also give it a milky appearance.


Open Circuits

1. Poor Burning of Connectors to Posts. Unless a good burned
connection is made between each connector and post, the joint may melt
under high discharge rates, or it may offer so much resistance to the
passage of current that the starting motor cannot operate. Sometimes
the post is not burned to the connector at all, although the latter is
well finished off on top. Under such conditions the battery may
operate for a time, due to frictional contact between the post and
connector, but the parts may become oxidized or sulphated, or
vibration may break the connection, preventing the flow of current.
Frequently, however, the circuit is not completely open, and the poor
connection acts simply as a high resistance. Under such a condition
the constant current generator automatically increases its voltage,
and forces charging current through the battery, although the latter,
having only a low fixed voltage, cannot force out the heavy current
required for starting the engine.

2. Terminals Broken Off. Inexperienced workmen frequently pound on the
terminals to loosen the cable lugs, or pry on them sufficiently to
break off the battery terminals. If the terminals and lugs are kept
properly greased, they will come apart easily. A pair of terminal
tongs is a very convenient tool. These exert a pressure between the
terminal and the head of the terminal screw, which is first unscrewed
a few turns.

3. Acid on Soldered Joints. Amateurs sometimes attempt to make
connections by the use of a soldering iron and solder. Solder is
readily dissolved by acid, not only spoiling the joint, but
endangering the plates if any gets into the cells. Solder must never
be used on a battery except for sweating the cables into the cable
lugs, and the joint even here must be well protected by rubber tape.

4. Defective Posts. Posts withdrawn from the post mould before they
are cool enough may develop cracks. Bubbles sometimes occur in the
posts. Either trouble may reduce the current carrying capacity or
mechanical strength of the post and result in a broken or burned-out

5. Plates Improperly Burned. As previously explained, this is not
likely to cause immediate trouble, but by imposing extra work on the
balance of the plates, causes them to wear out quickly.

Battery Discharged

1. Due to excessive use of starting motor and lamps.

2. Failure of generator.

3. Defective switches, which by being grounded, or failing to open
allow battery to discharge.

4. Defective cutout, allowing battery to discharge into generator.

5. Addition of accessories, or use of too large lamps.

6. Defective wiring, causing grounds or short-circuits.

7. Insufficient charging rate.

8. Battery allowed to remain idle.

Dead Cells

1. Worn out Separators. The duties of separators are to prevent the
plates from touching each other, and to prevent "treeing," or growth
of active material from the negative to the positive plates. If they
fail to perform these duties, the battery will become short-circuited
internally. The separator troubles described on page 81 eventually
lead to short-circuited cells.

2. Foreign Material. If a piece of lead falls between plates so as to
later punch a hole through a separator, a short circuit will result.
Great care should be taken in burning plates on the straps to prevent
lead from running down between plates, as this lead will cause a short
circuit by punching through the separator.

3. Accumulation of Sediment. The active material which drops from the
plates accumulates in the "mud" space in the bottom of the jar. If
this rises until it touches the bottom of the plates, a short-circuit
results. Usually it is advisable to renew the positives in a battery
which has become short-circuited by sediment, since the sediment comes
largely from the positives, and if they have lost enough active
material to completely fill the sediment space, they are no longer fit
for use.

4. Badly sulphated plates and separators, impurities which attack the

Loss of Capacity

A battery loses capacity due to a number of causes. Some of them have
already been considered.

1. Impurities in the Electrolyte. These have already been discussed.

2. Sulphation. This also has been described.

3. Loose Active Material, as already described. The active materials
which are not in contact with the grids cannot do their work.

4. Incorrect Proportions of Acid and Water in the Electrolyte. In
order that all the active material in the plates may be utilized,
there must be enough acid in the electrolyte, and also enough water.
If there is not enough acid, the battery will lack capacity. If there
is too much acid, the acid when the battery is fully charged will be
strong enough to attack and seriously damage the plates and
separators. Insufficient amount of acid may be due to replacing, with
water, electrolyte which has been spilled or which has leaked out. Too
much acid results from an incorrect proportion of acid and water in
the electrolyte, or from adding acid instead of water to bring the
electrolyte above the plate tops, and causes sulphation, corroded
plates, and carbonized separators.

The remedy for incorrect proportions of acid and water in the
electrolyte is to give the battery a full charge and adjust the
gravity by drawing off some of the electrolyte and replacing it with
water, or 1.400 specific gravity electrolyte, as the case may require.

5. Separators Clogged. The pores of the separators may become filled
with sulphate or impurities, and thus prevent the proper circulation
of the electrolyte. New separators must be put in.

6. Shedding. The capacity of a battery naturally decreases as the
active material falls from the plates, since the amount of active
material which can take part in the chemical actions that enable us to
draw current from the battery decreases.

7. Low Level of Electrolyte. Aside from the loss of capacity which
results from the sulphation caused by low electrolyte, there is a loss
of capacity caused by the decrease in the useful plate area when the
electrolyte is below the tops of the plates. Only that part of the
plate surface which is below the electrolyte does any work, and the
area of this part gradually decreases as the electrolyte falls.

8. Reversal of Plates. If one cell of a battery has an internal short
circuit, or some other defect which causes it to lose its charge, the
cell will be discharged before the others which are in series with it,
and when this cell is completely discharged, the other cells will send
a current through it in a discharge direction, and the negative plates
will have a coating of lead peroxide formed on them, and will assume
the characteristics of positive plates. The positives will be reversed

This reversal may also be the result of charging a battery in the
wrong direction, on account of reversed charging connections. The
remedy for reversed plates, provided they have not become
disintegrated, is to give them a long charge in the right direction at
a low rate.

9. Effect of Age. A battery gradually loses capacity due to its age.
This effect is independent of the loss of capacity due to the other
causes. In the negatives, the size of the grain increases its size,
giving the plates a granulated appearance. Stitch plates are called
"granulated" negatives. The spongy lead cements together and loses

Loss of Charge in An Idle Battery

It has been found that if a charged battery is allowed to stand idle,
and is not charged, and no current is drawn from it, the battery will
gradually become completely discharged and must be given an occasional
"freshening" charge.

Now, as we have learned, when a battery discharges lead sulphate forms
on each plate, and acid is taken from the electrolyte as the sulphate
forms. In our idle battery, therefore, such actions must be taking
place. The only difference in this case is that the sulphate forms
without any current passing through the battery.

At the lead peroxide plate we have lead peroxide paste, lead grid, and
sulphuric acid. These are all the element-, needed to produce a
storage battery, and as the lead peroxide and the lead are touching
each other, each lead peroxide plate really forms a short circuited
cell. Why does this plate not discharge itself completely? A certain.
amount of discharge does take place, and results in a layer of lead
sulphate forming between the lead peroxide and the grid. The sulphate,
having high resistance then protects the lead grid and prevents any
further action. This discharge action therefore does not continue, but
causes a loss of a certain part of the charge.

At the negative plate, we have pure spongy lead, and the grid. This
grid is not composed entirely of lead, but contains a percentage of
antimony, a metal which makes the grid harder and stronger. There is
but very little difference of potential between the spongy lead and
the grid. A small amount of lead sulphate does form, however, on the
surface of the negative plate. This is due to the action between the
spongy lead and the electrolyte.

Some of the lead combines with the acid to form lead sulphate, but
after a small amount has been formed the action is stopped because a
balanced chemical condition is soon obtained.

Thus only a small amount of lead sulphate is formed at each plate, and
the cell thereby loses only a small part of its charge. In a perfectly
constructed battery the discharge would then stop. The only further
action which would take place would be the slow evaporation of the
water of the electrolyte. The loss of charge which actually occurs in
an idle charged battery is greater than that due to the formation of
the small amounts of sulphate on the plates, and the evaporation of
the water from the electrolyte.

Does an idle cell discharge itself by decomposing its electrolyte? We
have a difference of potential of about two volts between the lead and
lead peroxide plate. Why is the electrolyte not decomposed by this
difference? At first it might seem that the water and acid should be
separated into its parts, and hydrogen liberated at the negative
plate. As a matter of fact, very little hydrogen gas is set free in an
idle charged cell because to do so would require a voltage of about
2.5. At two volts, so little gas is formed that the loss of charge due
to it may be neglected entirely.

The greatest loss of charge in an idle battery results from conditions
arising from the processes of manufacture, internal troubles, and
leakage between terminals. The grids of a cell are an alloy of lead
and antimony. These are mixed while in a molten condition, and are
then allowed to cool. If the cooling is not done properly, or if a
poor grade of antimony is used, the resulting grid is not a uniform
mixture of antimony and lead. There will be areas of pure lead, with
an air hole here and there. The lack of uniformity in the grid
material results in a local discharge in the grid. This causes some
loss of charge.

If the active material completely fills the spaces between the grids,
the acid formed as the cell is charged may not be able to diffuse into
the main body of the electrolyte, but forms a small pocket of acid in
the plate. This acid will cause a discharge between paste and grid and
a coating of lead sulphate forms on the arid, resulting in a certain
loss of charge.

In general any metallic impurity in a cell will cause a loss at the
lead plate. When a cell is charged, the current causes the metals to
deposit on the lead plate. Local cells are formed by the metallic
impurity, the lead plate, and the acid, and these tiny cells will
discharge completely, causing a loss of charge. This has already been
described on page 76.

Another cause of loss of charge in an idle cell is leakage of current
between the terminals on the outside of the battery. During charge,
the bubbles of gas which escape from the electrolyte carry with them
minute quantities of acid which may deposit on the top of the battery
and gradually form a thin conducting layer of electrolyte through
which a current will flow from the positive to the negative terminals.
This danger may be avoided by carefully wiping any moisture from the
battery. Condensation of moisture from the air, on the top or sides
and bottom of a battery will cause the same condition. This will be
especially noticeable if a battery is kept in a damp place.

The tendency for crystals of lead to "tree" over from the negative to
the positive plates is well known. An idle battery is one in which
this action tends to take place. Treeing will occur through the pores
of the separators and as there is no flow of electrolyte in or out of
the plates, the lead "trees" are not disturbed in their growth. A
freshening charge causes this flow to take place, and break up the
"trees" which would otherwise gradually short circuit the cells.


Section II


Shop Equipment
Shop Methods



Any man who goes into the battery repair business will gradually learn
by experience what equipment he finds necessary for his work. Some men
will be able to do good work with comparatively little equipment,
while others will require a somewhat elaborate layout.

  [Fig 38.]

  Fig. 38. Typical Work Room Showing Bench About 34 Inches High, Lead
  Burning Outfit, Hot Plates for Melting Sealing Compound and Hand
  Drill-Press for Drilling off Inter-Cell Connectors.

There are some things, however, which are necessary, and the following
lists are given to help the repairman select his equipment. The man
with limited capital will be unable to buy a complete equipment at the
start, but he should add to his equipment as fast as his earnings will
permit. The repairman may be able to "get-by" with crude equipment
when his business is very small, but to make his business grow he must
absolutely have good equipment.

The following list gives the various articles in the order of their
importance. The first seven are absolutely necessary, even for the
poorest beginner. The others are also essential, but may be bought as
soon, as the money begins to come in. Some of the tools must also be
bought before opening doors for business, such as the putty knife,
screwdrivers, pliers, and so on. Each article, which requires
explanation, is described in detail, beginning on page 100.

Equipment Which is Absolutely Necessary

1. Charging Outfit, such as a motor-generator set, rectifier, or
charging resistance where direct current is available.

2. Charging Bench and Accessories. With the charging bench must go the

   1. A syringe-hydrometer for measuring specific gravity of
      electrolyte, for drawing off electrolyte and for adding water to
   2. A special battery thermometer for measuring temperature of
   3. A voltmeter to measure cell, battery, and cadmium voltages.
   4. An ammeter to measure charging current.
   5. A glass bottle for distilled water. Also one for electrolyte.
   6. A number of eighteen inch lengths of No. 12 flexible wire fitted
      with lead coated test clips, for connecting batteries in series
      while on charge.

3. Work bench with vise.

4. Sink or wash tank and water supply.

5. Lead-burning outfit. (This should properly be called a lead welding
outfit, since it is used to melt lead parts so that they will be
welded together.)

6. For handling sealing compound, the following are necessary.

   1. Stove.
   2. Pot in which compound is melted.
   3. An iron ladle for dipping up the melted compound.
   4. One or two old coffee pots for pouring compound.

7. Shelving or racks for batteries waiting to be repaired, batteries
which have been repaired, rental batteries, new batteries, battery
boxes, battery jars, battery plates, etc.

8. Bins for battery parts, such as covers, inter-cell connectors,
plate straps, terminals, handles, vent plugs, hold down bolts,
separator hold-downs, and so on.

Equipment Needed In Opening Batteries

9. A battery steamer for softening sealing-compound and making covers
limp, for softening compound around defective jars which are to be
removed, for softening jars which are to be set in a battery box, and
so on.

10. Putty knife to remove softened scaling compound.

11. One ratchet brace with set of wood bits or square shank drills of
the following sizes: 3/8, 5/8, 3/4, 13/16, and 7/8 inch, for drilling
off terminals and inter-cell connectors. A power drill press, or a
portable electric drill will save time and labor in drilling off the
terminals and connectors.

12. Center punch for marking terminals and connectors before drilling.

13. Ten inch screwdriver for prying off connectors and terminals which
have been drilled. The screwdriver may, of course, be used on various
other kinds of work also.

14. A ten-inch length of 3/4 inch angle iron to protect upper edge of
case when prying off the connectors and terminals which have been

15. Two pairs of standard combination pliers for lifting elements out
of jars. A pair of six or eight inch gas pliers will also do for this

16. Machinist hammer. This is, of course, also used for other purposes.

17. Terminal tongs for removing taper lugs from terminals.

18. Pair of long, fiat nosed pliers for pulling out separators and

19. Open-end wrench for use in removing taper lugs from terminals.

Equipment for Lead Burning (Welding)

In addition to the lead burning-outfit, the following tools are needed:

20. A plate burning rack for setting up plates which are to be burned
to a plate strap.

21. A plumber's or tinner's triangular scraper for cleaning surfaces
which are to be welded together. A pocketknife will do in a pinch.

22. Steel wire brush for cleaning surfaces which are to be welded
together. This may also be used for general cleaning of lead parts.

23. Coarse files, vixen, round, and flat, for filing lead parts.

24. Set of burning, collars to be used in burning inter-cell
connectors to posts.

25. Moulds for casting sticks of burning lead. A pot for melting lead
is needed with the mould, and mould compound is also needed.

26. Set of post builders-moulds used for building up posts which have
been drilled short in removing terminals and intercell connectors.

27. Pair of blue or smoked glasses to be worn when using lead burning

Equipment for General Work on Cell Connectors and Terminals

28. Set of moulds for casting inter-cell connectors, terminals,
terminal screws, taper lugs, plate straps and posts, etc.

29. Set of reamers to ream holes in terminals and connectors.

30. Set of hollow reamers for reducing posts.

Equipment for Work on Cases

31. Cans of asphaltum paint for painting cases. May also be used for
acid-proofing work benches, floor, shelves, charging bench, and so on.

32. Paint brushes, one wide and several narrow.

33. Battery turntable.

34. Several wood chisels of different sizes.

35. Small wood-plane for smoothing up top edges of case.

36. Large glazed earthenware jars of washing or baking soda solution
for soaking cases to neutralize acid.

Tools and Equipment for General Work

37. One pair of large end cutting nippers for cutting connectors,
posts, plate lugs, and so on.

38. One pair of 8 inch side cutting pliers.

39. One pair of 8 inch diagonal cutting pliers.

40. Several screwdrivers.

41. Adjustable hacksaw frame with set of coarse blades.

42. Gasoline torch.

42. Soldering iron, solder and flux.

44. Separator cutter.

45. Plate press for pressing bulged, spongy lead of negative plates
flush with surface of grids.

46. Battery carrier.

47. Battery truck.

48. Lead lined box for storing separators. A large glazed earthenware
jar may be used for this purpose, and is much cheaper, although it
will not hold as many separators, on account of its round shape, as
the lead lined box.

49. Several old stew pans for boiling acid soaked terminals,
connectors, covers, etc., in a solution of washing soda.

50. Set of metal lettering stamps, for stamping POS and NEG on battery
terminals, repairman's initials, date battery was repaired, and nature
of repairs, on inter-cell connectors.

51. Cadmium test set.

52. High rate discharge testers.

53. Pair of rubber gloves to protect hands when handling acid.

54. Rubber apron to protect clothing from acid.

55. Pair of rubber sleeve protectors.

56. Rubbers to protect shoes, or pair of low rubber boots.

57. Tags for tagging repair and rental batteries, batteries in
storage, etc.

58. Pot of paraffine which may be heated, and paper tags dipped after
date has been written on tag in pencil. A 60-watt lamp hung in the can
may be used for heating the compound. In this way the tag is protected
from the action of acid, and the writing on the tag cannot be rubbed
off or made illegible.

59. A number of wooden boxes, about 12 inches long, 8 inches wide, and
4 inches deep, in which are placed terminals, inter-cell connectors,
covers, vent plugs, etc., of batteries being repaired.

60. Several large glazed earthenware jars are convenient for waste
acid, old separators, and general junk, which would otherwise litter
up the shop.


61. A supply of spare parts, such as cases, jars, covers, plate
straps, inter-cell connectors, plates, vent plugs, etc., should be

62. A supply of sealing compound is necessary.

63. A carboy of pure acid, and carboys of 1.400 electrolyte ready for
use should be on hand. A 16 oz. and a 32 or 64 oz. graduate are very
useful in measuring out acid and water.

64. A ten gallon bottle of distilled water is necessary for use in
making up electrolyte, for addition to cell electrolyte to bring
electrolyte up to proper level, and so on. If you wish to distill
water yourself, buy a water still.

65. A supply of pure vaseline is necessary for coating terminals to
prevent corrosion.

Special Tools

Owing to special constructions used oil sonic of the standard makes of
batteries, special tools are required, and such tools should be
obtained if work is done oil these batteries. Some of these tools are
as follows:

66. Special wrenches for turning sealing nuts on Exide batteries.

67. Two hollow reamers (post-freeing tools) for cutting lead seal
around posts of Prest-O-Lite batteries. There are two sizes, large and
small, see page 389.

68. Style "B" peening press for sealing posts of Prest-O-Lite
batteries to covers, see page 390.

69. Pressure tongs for forcing lead collar oil posts of Vesta
batteries, see page 415.

70. Special wrench for tightening sealing nut oil Titan batteries.

71. Special reamer for cutting sealing ring oil Universal batteries.

The list of special tools is not intended to be complete, and the
repairman will probably find other special tools necessary from time
to time. In any case, it is best to buy from the battery manufacturer
such special tools as are necessary for the batteries that come in for
repairs. It is sometimes possible to get along without the special
tools, but time and labor will be saved by using them.


Charging Equipment

A battery is charged by sending a direct current through it, this
"charging" current entering the battery at, the positive terminal and
passing out at the negative terminal. To send this current through the
battery, a voltage of about 7.5 volts is applied to each battery.

Two things are therefore necessary in charging a battery:

1. We must have a source of direct current.
2. The voltage impressed across each battery must be, about 2.5 per
   cell. The charging voltage across each six volt battery must
   therefore be 7.5, and for each twelve volt battery the charging
   voltage must be about 15 volts.

With the battery on the car, there are two general methods of
charging, i. e., constant potential (voltage) and constant current.
Generators having a constant voltage regulator have a constant voltage
of about 7.5, the charging current depending upon the condition of the
battery. A discharged battery thus receives a high charging current,
this current gradually decreasing, or "tapering" as the battery
becomes more fully charged. This system has the desirable
characteristic that a discharged battery receives a heavy charging
current, and a fully charged battery receives a small charging
current. The time of charging is thereby decreased.

With a constant-current charging system, the generator current output
is maintained at a certain value, regardless of the state of charge of
the battery. The disadvantage of this system is that a fully charged
battery is charged at as high a rate and in most cases at a higher
rate than a discharged battery.

In the shop, either the constant-potential, or the constant-current
system of charging may be used. Up to the present time, the constant
current system has been used in the majority of shops. The equipment
for constant current charging uses a lamp bank or rheostat to regulate
the charging current where direct current is available, and a
rectifier or motor-generator set where only alternating current is
available. Recently, the Hobart Brothers Company of Troy, Ohio, has
put on the market a constant potential motor-generator set which gives
the same desirable "tapering" charge as does the constant voltage
generator on the car. This set will be described later.

Where a 110-volt direct current supply is available, fifteen 6-volt
batteries may be connected in series across the line without the use
of any rheostat or lamp bank, only an ammeter being required in the
circuit to indicate the charging current. The charging rate may be
varied by cutting out some of the batteries, or connecting more
batteries in the circuit. This method is feasible only where many
batteries are charged, since not less than fifteen 6-volt batteries
may be charged at one time.

Constant Current Charging

Using Lamp Banks, or Rheostats

Figures 39 and 40 show the wiring for a "bank" of twenty 100-watt
lamps for battery charging from a 110 volt line. Figure 39 shows the
wiring to be used when the positive side of the line is grounded,
while Figure 40 shows the wiring to be used when the negative side of
the line is grounded. In either case, the "live" wire connects to the
lamp bank. The purpose of this is to eliminate the possibility of a
short-circuit if any part of the charging line beyond the lamp bank is
accidentally grounded.

  [Fig. 39 Lamp bank for charging from a 110 volts, D.C. Line
   (positive grounded)]
  [Fig. 40 Lamp bank for charging from a 110 volts, D.C. Line
   (negative grounded)]

  [Fig. 41 Rheostat for charging from a 110 volts, D.C. Line
   (positive grounded)]
  [Fig. 42 Rheostat for charging from a 110 volts, D.C. Line
   (negative grounded)]

Figures 41 and 42 show the wiring of two charging rheostats which may
be used instead of the lamp banks shown in Figures 39 and 40. In these
two rheostats the live wire is connected to the rheostat resistances
in order to prevent short-circuits by grounding any part of the
circuit beyond the rheostats. These rheostats may be bought ready for
use, and should not be "homemade." The wiring as shown in Figures 41
and 42 is probably not the same as will be found on a rheostat which
may be bought, but when installing a rheostat, the wiring should be
examined to make sure that the "live" wire is connected to the
rheostat resistance and does not connect directly to the charging
circuit. If necessary, change the wiring to agree with Figures 41 and

Figures 43 and 44 show the wiring of the charging circuits. In Figure
43 each battery has a double pole, double throw knife switch. This is
probably the better layout, since any battery may be connected in the
circuit by throwing down the knife switch, and any battery may be cut
out by throwing the switch up. With this wiring layout, any number of
batteries from one to ten may be cut-in by means of the switches.
Thus, to charge five batteries, switches 1 to 5 are thrown down, and
switches 5 to 10 are thrown up, thereby short-circuiting them.

  [Fig. 43 Wiring for a charging circuit, using a DPDT switch for
   each battery; and Fig. 44 Wiring for a charging circuit, using
   jumpers to connect batteries in series]

Figure 44 shows a ten-battery charging circuit on which the batteries
are connected in series by means of jumpers fitted with lead coated
test clips, as shown. This layout is not as convenient as that shown
in Figure 43, but is less expensive.

Using Motor-Generator Sets

  [Fig. 45 Ten battery motor-generator charging set]

Where no direct current supply is available, a motor-generator or a
rectifier must be installed. The motor-generator is more expensive
than a rectifier, but is preferred by some service stations because it
is extremely flexible as to voltage and current, is easily operated,
is free from complications, and has no delicate parts to cause trouble.

Motor-Generator sets are made by a number of manufacturers.
Accompanying these sets are complete instructions for installation and
operation, and we will not attempt to duplicate such instructions in
this book. Rules to assist in selecting the equipment will, however,
be given.

Except in very large service stations, a 40 volt generator is
preferable. It requires approximately 2.5 volts per cell to overcome
the voltage of a battery in order to charge it, and hence the 40 volt
generator has a voltage sufficient to charge 15 cells in series on one
charging line. Five 6 volt batteries may therefore be charged at one
time on each line. With a charging rate of 10 amperes, each charging
line will require 10 times 40, or 400 watts. The size of the generator
will depend on the number of charging lines desired. With 10 amperes
charging current per line, the capacity of the generator required will
be equal to 400 watts multiplied by the number of charging lines. One
charging line will need a 400 watt outfit. For two charging lines 800
watts are required. Each charging line is generally provided with a
separate rheostat so that its charging rate may be adjusted to any
desired value. This is an important feature, as it is wrong to charge
all batteries at the same rate, and with separate rheostats the
current on each line may be adjusted to the correct value for the
batteries connected to that line. Any number of batteries up to the
maximum may be charged on each line.

  [Fig. 46 Thirty-two battery motor-generator charging set]

In choosing a charging outfit, it is important not to get one which is
too large, as the outfit will operate at a loss when running under a
minimum load. It is equally important not to get one which is too
small, as it will not be able to take care of the batteries fast
enough, and there will be a "waiting list" of batteries which cannot
be charged until others are taken off charge. This will prevent the
giving of good service. Buy an outfit that will care for your needs in
the future, and also operate economically at the present time. Most
men going into the battery business make the mistake of
underestimating their needs, and getting equipment which must soon be
discarded because of lack of capacity.

The manufacturers each make a number of sizes, and the one which will
best fill the requirements should be chosen. In selecting an outfit
the manufacturer's distributor or dealer should be consulted in
deciding what size outfit to obtain. The particular outfit will depend
on the voltage and frequency of the alternating current power
circuits, the maximum charging current desired (10 amperes per line is
ample), and the greatest number of batteries to be charged at one time.

For the beginner, a 500 watt ten battery outfit, as shown in Fig. 45,
is suitable. For the medium sized garage that specializes in battery
charging, or for the small battery service station, a one kilowatt
outfit is most satisfactory. Two charging panels are generally
furnished with this outfit, and two charging lines may thus be used.
This is an important feature, as one line may be used in starting a
charge at 10 amperes, and the other for charging the batteries, that
have begun to gas, at a reduced rate. Fig. 46 shows a 2 K. W.
four-circuit, 32 battery motor-generator set. Each circuit is provided
with a separate rheostat and ammeter. The two terminals near the top
of each rheostat are connected to one charging circuit. The two
terminals near the lower end of each rheostat are connected to the

The 2 kilowatt set is suitable for a city garage, or a battery service
station in a medium sized town. A beginner should not purchase this
large set, unless the set can be operated at at least one-fourth
capacity continuously. As a service station grows, a 5 kilowatt set
may be needed. The 1, 2 and 5 kilowatt sets should not be used on
anything but city power lines. Single phase, or lighting lines are not
satisfactory for handling these sets.

A few suggestions on Motor-Generator Sets

1. Installation. Set the motor-generator on as firm a foundation as
possible. A good plan is to bolt it to a heavy bench, in which
position it is easily inspected and adjusted, and is also less likely
to be hit by acid spray, water, etc.

Set the motor-generator at some distance from the batteries so that
acid spray and fumes will not reach it. Sulphuric acid will attack any
metal and if you are not careful, your motor-generator may be damaged
seriously. The best plan is to have the motor generator set outside of
the charging room, so as to have a wall or partition between the
motor-generator and the batteries. The charging panels may be placed
as near the batteries as necessary for convenience, but should not be
mounted above the batteries. Figure 47 shows a convenient layout of
motor-generator, charging panels, and charging benches. Note that the
junipers used in connecting the batteries together are run through the
upper holes of the wire porcelain insulating cleats, the lower hole of
each insulator supporting the wire from the charging panel which runs
to the end of the bench.

  [Fig. 47]

  Fig. 47. Convenient Arrangement of Motor-Generator, Charging Panels,
  and Charging Benches

Instructions for the wiring connections to the power lines generally
come with each outfit, and they should be followed carefully. Fuses in
both the motor and generator circuits are especially important, as
they protect the machines from damage due to overloads, grounds, or
short-circuits. The generator must be driven in the proper direction
or the generator will not build up. The rotation of a three-phase
motor may be reversed by reversing, and Charging Benches any two of
the cables. To reverse a two-phase motor, reverse the cables of either
phase. Before putting a motor-generator set into operation, be sure to
check all connections to make sure that everything checks with the
instructions furnished by the manufacturer.

Operating the Charging Circuits

A generator operates most efficiently when delivering its rated
output. Therefore, keep the generator as fully loaded as possible at
all times. When you do not have enough batteries to run the generator
at full load, run each charging circuit at full load, and use as few
circuits as possible. This will reduce your power bill, since there is
a loss of power in the rheostat of each charging circuit, this loss
being the greatest when only one battery is on the circuit, and a
minimum when the circuit is fully loaded.

With several charging circuits, it is also possible to put batteries
which are in the same condition on one circuit and adjust the charging
rate to the most suitable value. Thus, badly sulphated batteries,
which must be charged at a low rate, may be put on the same circuit,
while batteries which have had only a normal discharge may be put oil
another circuit and charged at a higher rate. As each battery becomes
almost fully charged, it may be removed from the circuit and put on
another circuit and the charge completed at the finishing rate. This
is a good practice, since some batteries will begin to gas sooner than
others, and if the charging rate is not reduced, the batteries which
have begun to gas will have active material blown out by the continued
gassing. A careful study of such points will lead to a considerable
saving in power costs.

Care of Motor-Generator Set

A. Machine will not build up or generate. This may be due to:

   1. Machine rotating in wrong direction.
   2. Brushes not making good contact. Clean commutator with fine
   3. Wrong connections of field rheostat-check connections with
   4. Open circuit in field rheostat. See if machine will build up
      with field rheostat cut out.

B. Excessive heating of the commutator. This may be due to:

   1. Overload--Check your load and compare it with nameplate
      reading. Add the total amperes on all the panels and see that it
      does not exceed the ampere reading on the nameplate.
   2. Wrong setting of the brush rocker arm. This causes sparking,
      which soon will cause excessive heating.
   3. Rough commutator. This will cause the brushes to chatter, be
      noisy and spark. Caused many times by allowing copper to accumulate
      on the bottom of the brushes.
   4. Insufficient pressure on brushes, resulting in sparking. This
      may be due to brushes wearing down to the point where the brush
      lead screw rests on the brush holder.
   5. Dirt and grease accumulating between the brush and brush holder
      causing brush to stick; brush must always move freely in the holder.
   6. Brush holder may have come loose, causing it to slip back,
      relieving brush press-Lire.
   7. Brush spring may have become loosened, releasing the tension.
   8. Watch commutator carefully and keep it in the best of condition.
      There will not be excessive heating without sparking. Excessive
      sparking may raise the temperature so high as to cause throwing of
      solder. You can avoid all this by taking proper care of the

C. Ammeters on Panels Read Reverse: This is caused by improperly
connecting up batteries, which has reversed the polarity of the
generator. This generally does no harm, since in most cases the
batteries will automatically reverse the polarity of the generator.
Generally the condition may be remedied by stopping the machine,
reversing the batteries and starting the machine again. If this is
unsuccessful raise the brushes on the machine. Connect five or six
batteries in series in the correct way to one panel, while the machine
is not in operation. Turn on the panel switch. When the machine is
started, it will then build up in the right direction. If it does not
do so, repeat the above, using a larger number of batteries.

D. Machine Refuses to Start. If there is a humming noise when you try
to start the motor, and the outfit does not start, one of the fuses
needs replacing. The outfit will hum only on two or three phase
current. Never leave the power turned on with any of the fuses out.

Constant-Potential Charging

In the Constant-Potential system of battery charging, the charging
voltage is adjusted to about 7.5, and is held constant throughout the
charge. With this system a discharged battery receives a heavy current
when it is put on charge. This current gradually decreases as the
battery charges, due to the increasing battery voltage, which opposes,
or "bucks" the charging voltage, and reduces the voltage which is
effective in sending current through the batteries. Such a charge is
called "tapering" charge because the charging current gradually
decreases, or "tapers" off.

The principle of a "tapering" charge is, of course, that a discharged
battery may safely be charged at a higher rate than one which is only
partly discharged, because there is more lead sulphate in the
discharged battery which the action of the current changes back to
active material. As the battery charges, the amount of lead sulphate
decreases and since there is less sulphate for the current to act
upon, the charging rate should be reduced gradually. If this is not
done, excessive gassing will occur, resulting in active material being
blown from the grids.

A battery which has been badly sulphated, is of course, in a
discharged condition, but is not, of course, able to absorb a heavy
charging rate, and in handling such batteries on a constant potential
system, care must be taken that the charging rate is low. Another
precaution to be observed in all constant potential charging is to
watch the temperature of batteries while they are drawing a heavy
charging current. A battery which gasses soon after it is put oil
charge, and while still in a discharged condition, should be taken off
the line, or the charging line voltage reduced. With constant
potential charging, as with constant current charging, the two things
to watch are temperature and gassing. Any charging rate which does not
cause an excessive temperature or early gassing is safe, and
conversely any charging rate which causes an excessive battery
temperature, or causes gassing while the battery is still less than
three-fourths charged, is too high.

  [Fig. 48]

  Fig. 48. Hobart Bros. Co. 3 K. W. Constant Potential Motor-Generator
  Charging Set

The Constant-Potential Charging Set manufactured by the Hobart Bros.
Co., consists of a 3 K.W. generator rated at 7.5 volts, and 400
amperes. This generator is direct connected to a 5 H.P. motor, both
machines being mounted oil the same base plate. Figure 48 shows this
outfit. Note that for the charging line there are three bus-bars to
which the batteries are connected. Twelve volt batteries are connected
across the two outside bus-bars, while six volt batteries are
connected between the center bus-bar and one of the outer ones.

The Tungar Rectifier

  [Fig. 49 Tungar rectifier bulb]

All rectifiers using oil are operated on the principle that current
can pass through them in one direction only, due to the great
resistance offered to the flow of current in the opposite direction.
It is, of course, not necessary to use mercury vapor for the arc. Some
rectifiers operate on another principle. Examples of such rectifiers
are the Tungar made by the General Electric Co., and the Reetigon,
made by the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. The Tungar
Rectifier is used extensively and will therefore be described in

The essential parts of a Tungar Rectifier are: A bulb, transformer,
reactance, and the enclosing case and equipment.

The bulb is the most important of these parts, since it does the
rectifying. It is a sort of check valve that permits current to flow
through the charging circuit in one direction only. In appearance the
bulb, see Figure 49, resembles somewhat an ordinary incandescent bulb.
In the bulb is a short tungsten filament wound in the form of a tight
spiral, and supported between two lead-in wires. Close to the filament
is a graphite disk which serves as one of the electrodes. Figure 50
shows the operating principle of the Tungar. "B" is the bulb,
containing the filament "F" and the graphite electrode "A." To serve
as a rectifier the bulb filament "F" must be heated, this being done
by the transformer "T." The battery is connected as shown, the
positive terminal directly to one side of the alternating current
supply, and the negative terminal to the graphite electrode "A."

To understand the action which takes place, assume an instant when
line wire C is positive. The current then flows through the battery,
through the rheostat and to the graphite electrode. The current then
flows through the are to the filament and to the negative side of the
line, as indicated by the arrows.

During the next half cycle when line wire D is positive, and C is
negative, current tends to flow through the bulb from the filament to
the graphite, but as the resistance offered to the flow of current in
this direction is very high, no current will flow through the bulb and
consequently none through the battery.

  [Fig. 50 Illustration of Tungar "half-wave" rectifier]
  [Fig. 51 Illustration of Tungar "full-wave" rectifier]

The rectifier shown in Figure 50 is a "half-wave" rectifier. That is,
only one-half of each alternating current wave passes through it to
the battery. If two bulbs are used, as shown ill Figure 51, each half
of the alternating current wave is used in charging the battery. To
trace the current through this rectifier assume an instant when line
wire C is positive. Current will then flow to the graphite electrode
of tube A, through the secondary winding of the transformer S to the
center tap, through the rheostat, to the positive battery terminal,
through the battery to the center of the primary transformer winding
P, and through part of the primary winding to D. When D is positive,
current will flow through tube B from the graphite electrode to the
filament, to the center of transformer winding S, through the rheostat
and battery to the center of transformer winding P, and through part
of this winding to line wire C. In the actual rectifiers the rheostat
shown in Figures 50 and 51 are not used, regulation being obtained
entirely by means of other windings.

From the foregoing description it will be seen that if the alternating
current supply should fail, the batteries cannot discharge into the
line, because in order to do so, they would have to heat up the
filament and send current through the bulb from the filament to the
graphite electrode. This the batteries cannot do, because the
connections are such that the battery cannot send a current through
the complete filament circuit and because, even if the batteries could
heat the filament they could not send a current from the filament to
the graphite, since current cannot flow in this direction.

As soon as the alternating line is made alive again, the batteries
will automatically start charging again. For these reasons night
charging with the Tungar is entirely feasible, and no attendant is
required to watch the batteries during the night. The Tungar Rectifier
is made in the following sizes:

A. Two Ampere Rectifier

   Catalogue No. 195529

  [Fig. 52. The Two Ampere Tungar Rectifier]

  [Fig. 53 Internal wiring of the two ampere tungar rectifier]

This is the smallest Tungar made. Figure 52 shows the complete
rectifier. Figure 53 shows the internal wiring. This Tungar will
charge a 6 volt battery at two amperes, a 12 volt battery at one
ampere and eight cells at 0.75 ampere. It is suitable for charging a
lighting battery, or for a quick charge of a motorcycle or ignition
battery. It will also give a fairly good charge over night to a
starting battery. Another use for this rectifier is to connect it to a
run-down starting battery to prevent it from freezing over night. Of
course, a battery should not be allowed to run down during cold
weather, but if by chance a battery does run down, this Tungar will
prevent it from freezing during the night.

The two ampere Tungar is, of course, more suitable for the car owner
than for a garage or service station. It is also very suitable for
charging one Radio "A" battery. The two ampere Tungar is normally made
for operation on a sixty cycle circuit, at 115 volts. It may also be
obtained for operation on 25-30, 40-50, and 125-133 cycles alternating
supply line. See table on Page 130.

B. The One Battery Rectifier

   Catalogue No. 219865

  [Fig. 54. The One Battery Tungar Rectifier]

This Tungar will charge a 6 volt battery at five amperes, or a 12 volt
battery at three amperes. Figure 54 shows this Tungar, with part of
the casing cut away to show the internal parts.

To take care of variations in the voltage of the alternating current
supply from 100 to 130, a set of connections is provided which are
numbered 105, 115, and 125. For most supply voltages, the 115 volt tap
is used, for lower voltage the 105 volt tap is used, and for higher
voltage the 125 volt tap is used. This Tungar is designed for 60 cycle
circuits, but on special order it may be obtained for operation on
other frequencies.

This Tungar is most suitable for a car owner, is satisfactory for
charging a radio "A" battery, and a six volt starting and lighting
battery at one time.

C. The Two Battery Rectifier

   Catalogue No. 195530

  [Fig. 55. The Two Battery Tungar Rectifier]

This Tungar is shown in Figure 55, with part of the casing cut away to
show the internal parts. It was formerly sold to the car owner, but
the one battery Tungar is now recommended for the use of the car
owner. The two-battery Tungar is therefore recommended for the very
small service station, or for department stores for taking care of one
or two batteries. The four battery Tungar, which is the next one
described, is recommended in preference to the two-battery outfit
where there is the slightest possibility of having more than two
batteries to charge at one time.

The two-battery rectifier will charge two 6-volt batteries, or one
12-volt battery at six amperes, or one 18-volt battery at three
amperes. It has a double-pole fuse block mounted on the auto
transformer core, which has one fuse plug only. Figure 55 shows the
fuse plug in the position for charging a 6-volt battery. When it is
desired to charge a 12-volt battery or an 18-volt battery, the fuse is
removed from the first receptacle and is screwed into the second

  [Fig. 56. The Four Battery Tungar Rectifier Complete]

The two-battery rectifier is designed to operate on a 115-volt,
60-cycle line, but oil special order may be obtained for operation on
25-30, 40-50, and 125-133 cycle lines.

D. The Four Battery Tungar

   Catalogue No. 193191

This Tungar is shown complete in Figure 56. In Figure 57 the top has
been raised to show the internal parts. Figure 58 gives the internal
wiring connections for a four battery Tungar designed for operation on
a 115 volt line.

The four battery Tungar will charge from one to four 6 volt batteries
at 5 amperes or less. It is designed especially for garages having
very few batteries to charge. These garages generally charge their
boarders batteries rather than send them to a service station, and
seldom have more than four batteries to charge at one time. The four
battery Tungar is also suitable for the use of car dealers who wish to
keep the batteries on their cars in good shape, and is convenient for
preparing for service batteries as they come from the car manufacturer.

  [Fig. 57. The Four Battery Tungar Rectifier, with Top Raised to Show
   Internal Parts.]

The four battery Tungar is designed for operation on a 60-cycle line
at 115 or 230 volts. On special order this Tungar may be obtained for
operation on other frequencies.

E. The Ten Battery Rectifier

  Catalogue No. 179492

This is the Tungar which is most popular in the service stations,
since it meets the charging requirements of the average shop better
than the smaller Tungars. It will charge from one to ten 6 volt
batteries, or the equivalent at six amperes or less. Where more than
ten batteries are generally to be charged at one time, two or more of
the ten battery Tungars should be used. Large service stations use as
many as ten of these Tungars.

  [Fig. 58 Internal wiring of the four battery tungar rectifier]

The efficiency of the ten battery Tungar at full load is approximately
75 per cent, which compares favorably with that of a mercury-are
rectifier, or motor-generator of the same size. This makes the ten
battery Tungar a very desirable piece of apparatus for the service

  [Fig. 59 Complete 10-battery Tungar rectifier]

Figure 59 shows the complete ten battery Tungar, Figure 60 gives a
side view without the door to show the internal parts.

  [Fig. 60 Side view, cross-section of 10-battery Tungar

Figure 61 shows the internal connections for use on a 115-volt A.C.
line and Figure 62 the internal connections for use on a 230-volt
line. This Tungar is made for a 60-cycle circuit, 25-30, 40-50, and
125-133 cycle circuits.

  [Fig. 61 Internal wiring for the 10 battery Tungar rectifier
   for operation on a 115 volts A.C. line]

  [Fig. 62 Internal wiring for the 10 battery Tungar rectifier
   for operation on a 230 volts A.C. line]

F. The Twenty Battery Tungar

   Catalogue No. 221514

This Tungar will charge ten 6-volt batteries at 12 amperes, or twenty
6-volt batteries at six amperes. Figure 63 shows the complete
rectifier, and Figure 64 shows the rectifier with the side door open
to show the internal parts. This rectifier will do the work of two of
the ten battery Tungars. It is designed for operation on 60 cycles,
230-volts. On special order it may be obtained for operation on 115
volts and also for other frequencies.

The twenty battery Tungar uses two bulbs, each of which is the same as
that used in the ten battery Tungar, and has two charging circuits,
having an ammeter and regulating switch for each circuit. One snap
switch connects both circuits to the supply circuit. The two charging
circuits are regulated independently. For example, one circuit may be
regulated to three amperes while the other circuit is delivering six
amperes. It is also possible, by a system of connections to charge the
equivalent of three circuits. For instance, five batteries could be
charged at six amperes, five batteries at four amperes, and five
batteries at ten amperes. Other corresponding combinations are
possible also.

General Instructions and Information on Tungars

Life of Tungar Bulbs. The life of the Tungar Bulb is rated at 600 to
800 hours, but actually a bulb will give service for 1,200 to 3,000
hours if the user is careful not to overload the bulb by operating it
at more than the rated current.

  [Fig. 63 The 20 battery Tungar rectifier]

  [Fig. 64 Internal view of the 20 battery Tungar rectifier]

Instructions. Complete instructions are furnished with each Tungar
outfit, the following being those for the ten battery Tungar.


A Tungar should be installed in a clean, dry place in order to keep
the apparatus free from dirt and moisture. To avoid acid fumes, do not
place the Tungar directly over the batteries. These precautions will
prevent corrosion of the metal parts and liability of poor contacts.

Fasten the Tungar to a wall by four screws, if the wall is of wood, or
by four expansion bolts if it is made of brick or concrete.

Though the electrical connections of the outfit are very simple, it is
advisable (when installing the apparatus) to employ an experienced
wireman familiar with local requirements regarding wiring.

Line Connections

The two wires extending from the top of the Tungar should be connected
to the alternating current supply of the same voltage and frequency,
as stamped on the name plate attached to the front panel. These
connections should be not less than No. 12 B. & S. gauge wire and
should be firmly soldered to the copper lugs.

External fuses are recommended for the alternating-current circuit, as

With 115-volt line use 15-ampere capacity fuses.

With 230-volt line use 10 ampere capacity fuses.

One of the bulbs (Cat. No. 189049) should now be firmly screwed into
its socket. Squeeze the spring clip attached to the beaded cable and
slip this clip over the wire protruding from the top of the bulb. Do
not bend the wire.

Battery Connections

In making battery connections have the snap-switch in the "Off"

The two wires extending from the bottom of the Tungar should be
connected to the batteries. The wire on the left, facing the front
panel, is marked + (positive) and the other wire - (negative). The
positive wire should be connected to the positive terminal of the
battery and the negative wire to the negative terminal.

The two flexible battery cables are sometimes connected directly to
the two wires projecting from the bottom of the Tungar. These cables
should be securely cleated to the wall about six inches below the
outfit. This arrangement will relieve the strain on the Tungar wires
when cables are changed to different batteries.

When two or more batteries are to be charged, they should be connected
in series. The positive wire of the Tungar should be connected to the
positive terminal of battery No. 1, the negative terminal of this
battery of the positive terminal of battery No. 2, the negative
terminal of battery No. 2 to the positive terminal of battery No. 3,
and so on, according to the number of batteries in circuit. Finally
the negative terminal of the last battery should be connected to the
negative wire from the Tungar.

Reverse connections on one battery is likely to damage the plates; and
reverse connections oil all the batteries will blow one or more fuses.


A Tungar is operated by means of a snap-switch in the upper left-hand
corner and a regulating switch in the center. Before starting the
apparatus, the regulating switch should be in the "low" position.

The Tungar is now ready to operate. Turn the snap-switch to the right
to the "On" position, and the bulb will light. Then turn the
regulating switch slowly to the right, and, as soon as the batteries
commence to charge, the needle on the ammeter will indicate the
charging current. This current may be adjusted to whatever value is
desired within the limits of the Tungar. The normal charging rate is
six amperes, but a current of as high as seven amperes may be obtained
without greatly reducing the life of the bulb. Higher charging rates
reduce its life to a considerable extent. Lower rates than normal (six
amperes) will increase the life of the bulb.

Turn the snap-switch to the "Off" position when the charging of one
battery or of all the batteries is completed; or when it is desired to
add more batteries to the line.

The Tungar should be operated only by the snap-switch and not by any
other external switch in either line or battery circuits.

When the snap-switch is turned, the batteries will be disconnected
from the supply line, and then they may be handled without danger of

Immediately after turning the snap-switch, move the regulating handle
back to the "Low" position. This prevents any damage to the bulb from
the dial switch being in an improper position for the number of
batteries next charged.


If on turning on the alternating-current switch the bulb does not glow:

1. See whether the alternating-current supply is on.
2. Examine the supply line fuses. If these are blown, or are
   defective, replace them with 15 ampere fuses for a 115-volt line or
   with 10-ampere fuses for a 220-volt line.
3. Make sure that the bulb is screwed well into the socket.
4. Examine the contacts inside the socket. If they are tarnished or
   dirty, clean them with sandpaper.
5. Try a new bulb, Cat. No. 189049. The old bulb may be defective.

If the bulb lights but no current shows on the ammeter:

1. Examine the connections to the batteries, and also the
   connections between them. Most troubles are caused by imperfect
   battery connections.
2. Examine the fuses inside the case. If these are blown or are
   defective, replace them with 15 ampere fuses, Cat. No. 6335.
3. See that the clip is on the wire of the bulb.
4. The bulb may have a slow leak and not rectify. Try a new bulb,
   Cat. No. 189049.
5. Have the switch arm make good contact on the regulating switch.

If the current on the ammeter is high and cannot be reduced:

1. The ammeter pointer may be sticking; tap it lightly with the
   hand. The ammeter will not indicate the current correctly if the
   pointer is not on the zero line when the Tungar is not operating.
   The pointer may be easily reset by turning slightly the screw on
   the lower part of the instrument.
2. Be sure that the batteries are not connected with reversed
3. The alternating-current supply may be abnormally high. If only
   one three-cell battery is being charged, and the
   alternating-current supply is slightly high, then the current on
   the ammeter may be high. The simplest remedy is to connect in
   another battery or a small amount of resistance.

A spare bulb should always be kept on hand and should be tested for at
least one complete charge before being placed in reserve. All Tungar
bulbs are made as nearly perfect as possible, but occasionally one is
damaged in shipment. It may look perfect and yet not operate. For this
reason all bulbs should be tried out on receipt. If any bulb is found
defective, the tag which accompanies it should be filled out, and bulb
and tag should be returned to your dealer or to the nearest office of
the General Electric Company, transportation prepaid.

Tungar Rectifiers

(The following columns omitted from the table below: Catalog Numbers,
Dimensions, Net Weight, and Shipping Weight.)

  No. 6V Bats   No. 12V Bats.   DC Amps   DC Volts   AC Volts   Freq.
-------------   -------------   -------   --------   --------   -----

2 Amp. Tungar
   1 (2 amps.)   1 (1 amps.)      1-2      7.5-15      115       60

2 Amp. Tungar
   1 (2 amps.)   1 (1 amps.)      1-2      7.5-15      115       60

2 Amp. Tungar
   1 (2 amps.)   1 (1 amps.)      1-2      7.5-15      115      40-50

2 Amp. Tungar
   1 (2 amps.)   1 (1 amps.)      1-2      7.5-15      115      25-30

2 Amp. Tungar
   1 (2 amps.)   1 (1 amps.)      1-2      7.5-15      115    125-133

1 Battery Tungar
   1 (5 amps.)   1 (3 amps.)      1-5      7.5-15      115       60

2 Battery Tungar
   2 (6 amps.)   1 (6 amps.)      1-6      7.5-15      115       60

2 Battery Tungar
   2 (6 amps.)   1 (6 amps.)      1-6      7.5-15      115      40-50

2 Battery Tungar
   2 (6 amps.)   1 (6 amps.)      1-6      7.5-15      115      25-30

2 Battery Tungar
   2 (6 amps.)   1 (6 amps.)      1-6      7.5-15      115     125-130

4 Battery Tungar
   4 (5 amps.)   2 (5 amps.)      1-5      7.5-30      115        60

4 Battery Tungar
   4 (5 amps.)   2 (5 amps.)      1-5      7.5-30      115      40-50

4 Battery Tungar
   4 (5 amps.)   2 (5 amps.)      1-5      7.5-30      115      25-30

4 Battery Tungar
   4 (5 amps.)   2 (5 amps.)      1-5      7.5-30      115     125-133

4 Battery Tungar
   4 (5 amps.)   2 (5 amps.)      1-5      7.5-30      230       60

4 Battery Tungar
   4 (5 amps.)   2 (5 amps.)      1-5      7.5-30      230      40-50

10 Battery Tungar
   10            5                1-6      7.5-75      115       60

10 Battery Tungar
   10            5                1-6      7.5-75      115      40-50

10 Battery Tungar
   10            5                1-6      7.5-75      115      25-30

10 Battery Tungar
   10            5                1-6      7.5-75      115    125-133

10 Battery Tungar
   10            5                1-6      7.5-75      230       60

10 Battery Tungar
   10            5                1-6      7.5-75      230      40-50

20 Battery Tungar
   10 (12A.)/
   20 (6A.)     10 (6A.)          1-12     7.5-75      230       60

20 Battery Tungar
   10 (12A.)/
   20 (6A.)     10 (6A.)          1-12     7.5-75      230      40-50

20 Battery Tungar
   10 (12A.)/
   20 (6A.)     10 (6A.)          1-12     7.5-75      230      25-30

Bulb (all
4 Amp. Tung.)
    ---         ---               ---      ---         ---       ---

Bulb (all 10 and
12 Amp. Tung.)
    ---         ---               ---      ---         ---       ---

Bulb (all 2
Amp. Tung.)
    ---         ---               ---      ---         ---       ---

Bulb (all 1-2
Bat. Tung.)
    ---         ---               ---      ---         ---       ---

Mercury Arc Rectifier

The operation of the mercury are rectifier depends upon the fact that
a tube containing mercury vapor under a low pressure and provided with
two electrodes, one of mercury and the other of some other conductor,
offers a very high resistance to a current tending to pass through the
tube from the mercury electrode to the other electrode, but offers a
very low resistance to a current tending to pass through the tube in
the opposite direction. Current passes from the metallic electrode to
the mercury electrode through an are of mercury vapor which is
established in the tube by tilting it so the mercury bridges the gap
between the mercury and an auxiliary electrode just for an instant.

The absence of moving parts to got out of order is an advantage
possessed by this rectifier over the motor-generator. The charging
current from the rectifier cannot, however, be reduced to as low a
value as with the motor-generator, and this is a disadvantage. This
rectifier is therefore more suitable for larger shops, especially
where electric truck and pleasure cars are charged.

Mechanical Rectifiers

Mechanical rectifiers have a vibrating armature which opens and closes
the charging circuit. The circuit is closed during one half of each
alternating current cycle, and open during the next half cycle. The
circuit is thus closed as long as the alternating current is flowing
in the proper direction to charge the battery, and is open as long as
the alternating current is flowing in the reverse direction. These
rectifiers therefore charge the battery during half the time the
battery is on charge, this also being the case in some of the are

The desired action is secured by a combination of a permanent magnet
and an electromagnet which is connected to the alternating current
supply. During half of the alternating current cycle, the alternating
current flowing through the winding of the electromagnet magnetizes
the electromagnet so that it strengthens the magnetism of the
permanent magnet, thus causing the vibrator arm to be drawn against
the magnet. The vibrator arm carries a contact which touches a
stationary contact point when the arm is drawn against the magnet,
thus closing the charging circuit.

During the next half of the alternating current cycle, or wave, the
current through the electromagnet coil is reversed, and the magnetism
of the electromagnet then weakens the magnetism of the permanent
magnet, and the vibrator arm is drawn away from the magnet and the
charging circuit is thus opened. During the next half of the
alternating current cycle the vibrator arm is again drawn against the
magnet, and so on, the contact points being closed and opened during
half of each alternating current cycle.

Mechanical rectifiers are operated from the secondary windings of
transformers which reduce the voltage of the alternating current line
to the voltage desired for charging. Each rectifier unit may have its
own complete transformer, or one large transformer may operate a
number of rectifier units by having its secondary, or low tension
winding divided into a number of sections, each of which operates one

The advantages of the mechanical rectifier are its simplicity,
cheapness and portability. This rectifier also has the advantage of
opening the charging circuit when the alternating current supply
fails, and starting again automatically when the line is made alive
again. Any desired number of independent units, each having its own
charging line, may be used. The charging current generally has a
maximum value of 6 amperes. Each rectifier unit is generally designed
to charge only one or two six volt batteries at one time.

Stahl Rectifier

This is a unique rectifier, in which the alternating current is
rectified by being sent through a commutator which is rotated by a
small alternating current motor, similar to the way the alternating
current generated in the armature of a direct current generator is
rectified in the commutator of the machine. The Stahl rectifier
supplies the alternating current from a transformer instead of
generating it as is done in a direct current generator. Brushes which
bear on the commutator lead to the charging circuit.

The Stahl rectifier is suitable for the larger service stations. It
gives an interrupted direct current. It is simple in construction and
operation, and is free of delicate parts.

Other Charging Equipment

If there is no electric lighting in the shop, it will be necessary to
install a generator and a gas, gasoline, or steam engine, or a
waterwheel to drive it. A 10 battery belt driven generator may be used
in such a shop, and may also, of course, be used with a separate
motor. The generator should, of course, be a direct current machine.
The size of the generator will depend upon the average number of
batteries to be charged, and the amount of money available. Any of the
large electrical manufacturers or supply houses will give any
information necessary for the selection of the type and size of the
outfit required.

If an old automobile engine, and radiator, gas tank, etc., are on
hand, they can be suitably mounted so as to drive the generator.


  [Fig. 65. Charging Bench with D.P.D.T. Switch for Each Battery]

Figures 47 and 65 show charging benches in operation. Note that they
are made of heavy stock, which is of course necessary on account of
the weight of the batteries. The top of the charging bench should be
low, to eliminate as much lifting of batteries as possible. Figure 66
is a working drawing of the bench illustrated in Figure 65. Note the
elevated shelf extending down the center. This is convenient for
holding water bottle, acid pitcher, hydrometer. Note also the strip
"D" on this shelf, with the voltmeter hung from an iron bracket. With
this arrangement the meter may be moved to any battery for voltage,
cadmium, and high rate discharge readings. It also has the advantage
of keeping the volt meter in a convenient and safe place, where it is
not liable to have acid spilled on it, or to be damaged by rough
handling. In building the bench shown in Figure 66, give each part a
coat of asphaltum paint before assembling. After assembling the bench
give it two more coats of asphaltum paint.

  [Fig. 66 Working drawing of charging bench shown in Fig. 65]

Figures 67, 68, 69 and 70 show the working plans for other charging
benches or tables. The repairman should choose the one which he
considers most suitable for his shop. In wiring these benches, the
elevated shelf shown in Figure 66 may be added and the double pole,
double throw switches used. Instead of these switches, the jumpers
shown on the benches illustrated in Figure 47 may be used. If this is
done, the elevated shelf should also be installed, as it is a great
convenience for the hydrometer, voltmeter, and so on, as already

As for the hydrometer, thermometer, etc., which were listed on page 96
as essential accessories of a charging bench, the Exide vehicle type
hydrometer is a most excellent one for general use. This hydrometer
has a round bulb and a straight barrel which has projections on the
float to keep the hydrometer in an upright position when taking
gravity readings. The special thermometer is shown in Figure 37. A
good voltmeter is shown in Figure 121. This voltmeter has a 2.5 and a
25 volt scale, which makes it convenient for battery work. It also
gives readings of a .2 and 2.0 to the left of the zero, and special
scale markings to facilitate the making of Cadmium tests as described
on page 174. As for the ammeter, if a motor-generator set, Tungar
Rectifier or a charging-rheostat is used, the ammeter is always
furnished with the set. If a lamp bank is used, a switchboard type
meter reading to about 25 amperes is suitable. With the constant
potential system of charging, the ammeters are furnished with the
motor-generator set. They read up to 300 amperes.

The bottles for the distilled water and electrolyte are not of special
design and may be obtained in local stores, There are several special
water bottles sold by jobbers, and they are convenient, but not
necessary. Figure 133 shows a very handy arrangement for a water or
acid bottle.

  [Fig. 67 Working drawing of eight foot charging bench]

  [Fig. 68 Working drawing of a ten foot charging bench]

  [Fig. 69 Working drawing of a twelve foot charging bench]

  [Fig. 70 Working drawing of a twelve foot charging bench (without
   drain rack)]

  [Fig. 71 Working drawing of a two man work bench to be placed
   against a wall]

  [Fig. 72 Working drawing of a double, four man work bench, with two
   tool drawers for each man]


A work bench is more of a standard article than the charging bench,
and there should be no trouble in building one. Figure 38 illustrates
a good bench in actual use. A vise is, of course, necessary, and the
bench should be of solid construction, and should be given several
coats of asphaltum paint.

  [Fig. 73 Working drawing of a two man, double work bench]

Figure 71 shows a single work bench which may be placed against a
wall. Figures 72 and 73 show double work benches. Note that each bench
has the elevated shelf, which should not, under any consideration be
omitted, as it is absolutely necessary for good work. The tool drawers
are also very convenient.

It is best to have a separate "tear down" bench where batteries are
opened, as such a bench will be a wet, sloppy place and would not be
suitable for anything else. It should be placed near the sink or wash
tank, as shown in the shop layouts illustrated in Figures 136 to 142.


  [Fig. 74]

  Fig. 74. Sink with Faucet, and Extra Swinging Arm Pipe for
  Washing Out Jars. Four Inch Paint Brush for Washing Battery

An ordinary sink may be used, as shown in Figure 74. This figure also
shows a convenient arrangement for washing out jars. This consists of
a three-fourths inch pipe having a perforated cap screwed over its
upper end. Near the-floor is a valve which is normally held closed by
a spring, and which has attached to it a foot operated lever. In
washing sediment out of jars, the case is inverted over the pipe, and
the water turned on by means of the foot lever. A number of fine,
sharp jets of water are thrown up into the jar, thereby washing out
the sediment thoroughly.

If an ordinary sink is used, a settling tank should be placed under
it, as shown in Figure 75. Otherwise, the drain pipe may become
stopped up with sediment washed out of the jars. Pipe B is removable,
which is convenient in cleaning out the tank. When the tank is to be
cleaned, lift pipe B up very carefully and let the water drain out
slowly. Then scoop out the sediment, rinse the tank with water, and
replace pipe B. In some places junk men will buy the sediment, or
"mud," as it is called.

  [Fig. 75 Settling tank to be used with sink shown in Fig. 74]

Figures 76 and 77 give the working drawings for more elaborate wash
tanks. The water supply shown in Figure 74 may be used here, and the
drain pipe arrangement shown in Figure 75 may be used if desired.

  [Fig. 76 Working drawing of a wash tank]

  [Fig. 77 Working drawing of a wash tank]


In joining the connectors and terminals to the positive and negative
posts, and in joining plate straps to form a "group," the parts are
joined or welded together, melting the surfaces to be joined, and then
melting in lead from sticks called "burning lead." The process of
joining these parts in this manner is known as "lead burning."
Directions for "lead burning" are given on page 210.

There are various devices by means of which the lead is melted during
the "lead burning" process. The most satisfactory of these use a hot,
pointed flame. Where such a flame is not obtainable, a hot carbon rod
is used.

The methods are given in the following list in the order of their

1. Oxygen and Acetylene Under Pressure in Separate Tanks. The gases
are sent through a mixing valve to the burning tip. These gases give
the hottest flame.

2. Oxygen and Hydrogen Under Pressure in Separate Tanks, Fig. 78. The
flame is a very hot one and is very nearly as satisfactory as the
oxygen and acetylene.

  [Fig. 78]

  Fig. 78. Hydrogen-Oxygen Lead Burning Outfit. A and B are Regulating
  Valves. C is the Safety Flash Back Tank. D is the Mixing Valve. E is
  the Burning Tip.

3. Oxygen and Illuminating Gas. This is a very satisfactory method,
and one that has become very popular. In this method it is absolutely
necessary to have a flash back tank (Fig. 79) in the gas line to
prevent the oxygen from backing up into the gas line and making a
highly explosive mixture which will cause a violent explosion that may
wreck the entire shop.

  [Fig. 79 Flash-back tank for lead burning outfit]

To make such a trap, any strong walled vessel may be used, as shown in
Figure 79. A six to eight inch length of four inch pipe with caps
screwed over the ends will make a good trap. One of the caps should
have a 1/2 inch hole drilled and tapped with a pipe thread at the
center. This cap should also have two holes drilled and tapped to take
a 1/4 inch pipe, these holes being near the inner wall of the large
pipe, and diametrically opposite one another.

Into one of these holes screw a short length of 1/4 inch pipe so Fig.
79. Flash-Back Tank for Lead Burning Outfit that it comes flush with
the inner face of the cap. This pipe should lead to the burning outfit.

Into the other small hole screw a length of 1/4 inch pipe so that its
lower end comes within 1/2 inch of the bottom of the trap. This pipe
is to be connected to the illuminating gas supply.

To use the trap, fill within one inch of top with water, and screw a
1/2 inch plug into the center hole. All connections should be airtight.

4. Acetylene and Compressed Air. The acetylene is bought in tanks, and
the air compressed by a pump.

5. Hydrogen and Compressed Air. This is the method that was very
popular several years ago, but is not used to any extent at present
because of the development of the first three methods. A special torch
and low pressure air supply give a very satisfactory flame.

6. Wood Alcohol Torch. A hand torch with a double jet burner gives a
very clean, nonoxidizing flame. The flame is not as sharp as the
oxygen flame, and the torch is not easily handled without the use of
burning collars and moulds. The torch has the advantage of being
small, light and portable. A joint may be burned without removing the
battery from the car.

7. Gasoline Torch. A double jet gasoline torch may be used, provided
collars or moulds are used to prevent the lead from running off. The
torch gives a broad flame which heats the parts very slowly, and the
work cannot be controlled as easily as in the preceding methods.

  [Fig. 80 Carbon lead burning outfit]

8. Carbon Arc. This is a very simple method, and requires only a spare
6 volt battery, a 1/4 inch carbon rod, carbon holder, cable, and clamp
for attaching to battery. This outfit is shown in Fig. 80. It may be
bought from the American Bureau of Engineering, Inc., Chicago, Ill.
This outfit is intended to be used only when gas is not available, and
not where considerable burning is to be done.

In using this outfit, one terminal of an extra 6 volt battery is
connected by a piece of cable with the connectors to be burned. The
contact between cable and connector should be clean and tight. The
cable which is attached to the carbon rod is then connected to the
other terminal of the extra battery, if the battery is not fully
charged, or to the connector on the next cell if the battery is fully
charged. The number of cells used should be such that the carbon is
heated to at least a bright cherry red color when it is touching the
joint which is to be burned together.

Sharpen the carbon to a pencil point, and adjust its position so that
it projects from the holder about one inch. Occasionally plunge the
holder and hot carbon in a pail of water to prevent carbon from
overheating. After a short time, a scale will form on the surface of
the carbon, and this should be scraped off with a knife or file.

In burning in a connector, first melt the lead of the post and
connector before adding the burning lead. Keep the carbon point moving
over all parts to be joined, in order to insure a perfectly welded

9. Illuminating Gas and Compressed Air. This is the slowest method of
any. Pump equipment is required, and this method should not be used
unless none of the other methods is available.

The selection of the burning apparatus will depend upon individual
conditions as well as prices, and the apparatus selected should be one
as near the beginning of the foregoing list as possible. Directions
for the manipulation of the apparatus are given by the manufacturers.

The most convenient arrangement for the lead burning outfit is to run
pipes from one end of the work bench to the other, just below the
center shelf. Then set the gas tanks at one end of the bench and
connect them to the pipes. At convenient intervals have outlets for
attaching the hoses leading to the torch.


(a) Stove. Where city gas is available, a two or three burner gas
stove or hot-plate should be used. Where there is no gas supply, the
most satisfactory is perhaps an oil stove. It is now possible to get
an odorless oil stove which gives a hot smokeless flame which is very
satisfactory. In the winter, if a coal stove is used to heat the shop,
the stove may also be used for heating the sealing compound, but it
will be more difficult to keep the temperature low enough to prevent
burning the compound.

(b) Pot or Kettle. An iron kettle is suitable for use in heating
compound. Special kettles, some of which are non-metallic, are on the
market, and may be obtained from the jobbers.

(c) An iron ladle should be obtained for dipping up compound, and for
pouring compound when sealing a battery. Figure 81 shows a convenient
form of ladle which has a pouring hole in the bottom. A taper pin,
which is raised by the extra handle allows a very fine stream of
compound to be poured.

The exact size of the ladle is not important, but one which is too
heavy to be held in one hand should not be used.

(d) Several old coffee pots are convenient, and save much time in
sealing batteries.

Sealing compound is a combination of heavy residues produced by the
fractional distillation of petroleum. It is not all alike-that
accepted for factory use and distribution to Service Stations must
usually conform to rigid specifications laid down by the testing
laboratories governing exact degrees of brittleness, elongation,
strength and melting point. For these qualities it is dependent upon
certain volatile oils which may be driven off from the compound if the
temperature of the molten mass is raised above the comparatively low
points where some of these oils begin to volatilize off as gaseous
vapor or smoke.

Compound from which certain of these valuable constituent oils have
been driven off or "burned out" through overheating is recognized
through too great BRITTLENESS and SHRINKAGE on cooling, causing
"CRACKED COMPOUND" with all of its attending difficulties.

  [Fig. 81 Pouring ladle]

Do not put too much cold compound in the kettle to begin with. It is
not advisable to carry much more molten compound in the kettle at any
time than can easily be dipped out-cold compound may be added during
the day as needed. When there is considerable cold compound in the
kettle, and the heating flame is applied, the lower bottom part of
the mass next to the surface of the iron is brought to a melting point
first-heat must be conveyed from this already hot part of the compound
upward throughout the whole mass-so that before the top part of it is
brought to a molten condition the lower inside layers are very hot
indeed. If there is too much in the kettle these lower layers are
necessarily raised in temperature beyond the point where they lose
some of their volatile oils-they are "burned" before the whole mass of
compound can be brought to a molten state.

Do not use too large a heating flame under the kettle for the same
reasons. A flame turned on "full blast" will certainly "burn" the
bottom layers before the succeeding layers above are brought to the
COMPOUND. It PAYS in the resulting jobs.

The more compound is heated, the thinner it becomes--it should never be
allowed to become so hot that it flows too freely--it should never
exceed the viscosity of medium molasses. It should flow freely enough
to run in all narrow spaces but NOT freely enough to flow THROUGH them
before it cools.

Stir the kettle frequently during the day. It is advisable about once
a week to work as much compound out of the kettle as possible, empty
that still remaining, clean the kettle out, and start with fresh

NEVER USE OLD COMPOUND OVER AGAIN--that is, do not throw compound
that has been dug out of used batteries into the kettle with the new
compound. The old compound is no doubt acid soaked, and this acid will
work through the whole molten mass, making a satisfactory job a very
doubtful matter indeed.

Cold weather hardens sealing compound, of course, and renders it
somewhat brittle and liable to crack. This tendency could be overcome
by using a softer compound, but, on the other hand, compound so soft
that it would have no tendency to crack in cold weather would be so
soft in warm weather that it would fail to hold the assembly with the
necessary firmness and security. It is far better policy to run the
risk of developing a few cracks in the winter than a loose assembly in
summer. Surface cracks developed in cold weather may be easily
remedied by stripping off the compound around the crack with a heated
tool, flashing with the torch and quickly re-sealing according to the
above directions.

It is not practical to work any oil agent, such as paraffin or castor
oil, into the compound in an effort to soften it for use in cold


The essential things about shelving in a battery shop are, that it
must be covered with acid-proof paint, and must be made of heavy
lumber if it is to carry complete batteries. Figure 82 shows the heavy
shelving required in a stock-room, while Figure 83 shows the lighter
shelving which may be used for parts, such as jars, cases, extra
plates, and so on.

  [Fig. 82]

  Fig. 82. Typical Stockroom, Showing Heavy Shelving Necessary for
  Storing Batteries.

Figures 84 and 85 show two receiving racks for batteries which come in
for repairs. In many shops batteries are set on the floor while
waiting for repairs. If there is plenty of floor space, this practice
is not objectionable. In any case, however, it improves the looks of
the shop, and makes a better impression on the customer to have racks
to receive such batteries. Note that the shelves are arranged so as to
permit acid to drain off. Batteries often come in with wet, leaky
cases, and this shelf construction is suitable for such batteries.

The racks shown in Figures 86 and 87 are for repaired batteries, new
batteries, rental batteries, batteries in dry storage, and for any
batteries which do not have wet leaky cases.

Figures 88 and 89 show racks suitable for new batteries which have
been shipped filled with electrolyte, batteries in "wet" or "live"
storage, rental batteries, and so on. Note that these racks are
provided with charging circuits so that the batteries may be given a
low charge without removing them from the racks. Note also that the
shelves are spaced two feet apart so as to be able to take hydrometer
readings, voltage readings, add water, and so on, without removing the
batteries from the racks.


Figure 90 gives the dimensions for equipment bins suitable for covers,
terminals, inter-cell connectors, jars, cases, and various other
parts. These bins can be made with any desired number of sections, and
additional sections built as they are needed.

  [Fig. 83]

  Fig. 83. Corner of Workshop, Showing Lead Burning Outfit, Workbench
  and Vises.

  [Fig. 84 Working drawing of a 6-foot receiving rack]

  [Fig. 85 Working drawing of a 12-foot receiving rack]

  [Fig. 86 Working drawing of an 8-foot rack for repaired batteries,
   new batteries, rental batteries, batteries in dry storage, etc.]

  [Fig. 87 Working drawing of a 16-foot rack for repaired batteries,
   new batteries, rental batteries, batteries in dry storage, etc.]

  [Fig. 88 Working drawing of a 16-foot rack suitable for new batteries
   (shipped filled and fully charged), batteries in "wet" storage,
    rental batteries, etc.]

  [Fig. 88b End view of rack in Fig. 88]

  [Fig. 89 Working drawing of a 12-foot rack suitable for new batteries
   (shipped filled and fully charged), batteries in "wet" storage,
    rental batteries, etc.]

  [Fig. 89b End view of rack in Fig. 89]

  [Fig. 90 Working drawing of bins suitable for battery parts]


Steaming is the most satisfactory method of softening sealing
compound, making covers and jars limp and pliable. An open flame
should never be used for this work, as the temperature of the flame is
too high and there is danger of burning jars and covers and making
them worthless. With steam, it is impossible to damage sealing
compound or rubber parts.

A soft flame from a lead burning torch is used to dry out the channels
in the covers before sealing, and is run over the compound quickly to
make the compound flow evenly and unite with the jars and covers. But
in such work the flame is used for only a few seconds and is not
applied long enough to do any damage.

With a steaming outfit, it is also possible to distill water for use
in mixing electrolyte and replacing evaporation in the cells. The only
additional equipment needed is a condenser to condense the steam into

  [Fig. 91]

  Fig. 91. Battery Steamer, with Steam Hose for Each Cell

  [Fig. 92 Condenser for use with battery steamer]

Figure 91 shows a steaming outfit mounted on a wall, and shows the
rubber tube connections between the several parts. The boiler is set
on the stove, water being supplied from the water supply tank which is
hung above the boiler to obtain gravity feed. The water supply tank is
open at the top, and is filled every morning with faucet water. This
tank is suitable for any shop, even though a city water supply is
available. A water pipe from the city lines may be run to a point
immediately above the tank and a faucet or valve attached. Where there
is no city water supply, the tank may, of course, be filled with a
pail or pitcher.

The boiler is equipped with a float operated valve which maintains a
one to one and one-half inch depth of water. As the water boils away,
the float lowers slightly and allows water to enter the boiler. In
this way, the water is maintained at the proper level at all times. A
manifold is fitted to the boiler and has six openings to which lengths
of rubber tubing are attached. These tubes are inserted in the vent
holes of the battery which is to be steamed. Any number of the steam
outlets may be opened by drawing out the manifold plunger valve to the
proper point. When distilling water, a tube is attached to one of the
steam outlets as shown, and connected to the condenser as shown. A
bottle is placed under the distilled water outlet to collect the
distilled water.

Cooling water enters the condenser through the tubing shown attached
to the condenser at the lower right-hand edge. The other end of this
tube is attached to the water faucet, or other cooling water supply.
The cooling water outlet is shown at the lower left hand edge of the
condenser. The cooling water inlet and outlet are shown in Figure 92.

If there is no city water supply, a ten or twenty gallon tank may be
mounted above the condenser and attached by means of a rubber tube to
the cooling water inlet shown at the lower right hand edge of the
condenser in Figure 92. A similar tank is placed under the cooling
water outlet. The upper tank is then filled with water. When the water
has run out of the upper tank through the condenser and into the lower
tank, it is poured back into the upper tank. In this way a steady
supply of cooling water is obtained.

  [Fig. 93 Steaming box in which entire battery is set]

Another type of steamer uses a steaming box, Figure 93. The battery is
placed in the box and steam is sent in through the cover. The boiler
has only one steam outlet, and this is connected to the box by means
of a hose.

  [Fig. 94 Special bench for battery steamer]

If desired, a special bench may be made for the steaming outfit, as
shown in Figure 94.

The other tools needed for opening batteries, as given in the list on
page 97 are standard articles, and may be obtained at any hardware
store, except the terminal tongs, which should be purchased from a
battery supply house.

  [Fig. 95 Battery terminal tongs]

Figure 95 illustrates the use of terminal tongs. Battery terminals
usually stick so tight that they must be forced out with pliers or
other tools. Here is shown a pair of tongs that makes easy work of the
job. One end has a fork and the other is shaped to come between the
fork. It is placed on the battery terminal, as shown, and when the
handles are brought together the terminal attached to the battery lead
is forced out without marring any of the parts.


Plate Burning Rack

The plates which compose a "group" are joined to the plate connecting
strap to which the post is attached. The plates are "burned" to the
strap, and this must be done in such a manner that the plates are
absolutely parallel, that the distance between plates is correct, and
that the top surface of the strap is at right angles to the surface of
the plates. These conditions are necessary in order that the positive
and negative groups may mesh properly, that the complete element,
consisting of the plates and separators may fit in the jar properly,
and that the cell covers may fit over the posts easily.

  [Fig. 96]

  Fig. 96. Universal Plate Burning Rack. Will Hold Three Groups of
  Plates at One Time. Designed for Standard and Special Plates

In order to secure these conditions, plates that are to be burned to
the strap are set in a "burning rack," shown in Figs. 96 and 97, which
consists mainly of a base upon which the plate rest, and a slotted bar
into which the lugs on the plates fit. The distance between successive
slots is equal to the correct distance between the plates of the
group. An improved form of burning rack has a wooden base which has
slots along the side. The plates are set into these slots and are thus
held in the correct position at both top and bottom.

  [Fig. 97 Plate burning rack for standard 1/8 inch, and thin plates]

Fig. 97 shows a rack for use with 1/8 inch and 7-64 inch plates. Fig.
96 shows a "Universal" rack which may be used with both the 1/8 and
7-64 inch plates, and also many special plates.

The guide-bar, or "comb," E, has slots along two sides, the base
having corresponding slots, as shown. To accommodate different sized
plates, the comb may be raised or lowered, and the uprights may be
moved back and forth in two slots, one of which is shown at F. In
using this rack, the plates are set in position, with their lower
edges in the slots of the base, and their lugs in the slots in the
comb. The plates are in this way held at opposite corners, and are
absolutely straight and parallel.

Special fittings are provided to simplify the work of burning. A bar,
D, fits along the edge of the comb, and holds the lugs of the plates
firmly in the slots. This bar is movable to any part of the comb,
being held by two spring clips, C. Two bars, A and B, which are
adjustable, make a form around the plate lugs which will prevent the
hot lead from running off while burning in the plates.

Instructions for burning on plates are given on page 217.

The triangular scraper, steel wire brush, coarse files and smoked or
blue glasses are all standard articles and may be obtained from any
supply house. The burning collars are made of iron, and are set over
the end of inter-cell connectors when burning these to the posts, see
Figure 98. Experienced repairmen generally do not use them, but those
who have trouble with the whole end of the connector melting and the
lead running off should use collars to hold in the lead.

  [Fig. 98 Burning collars]

The Burning Lead Mould

In every shop there is an accumulation of scrap lead from post
drillings, old connecting straps, old plate straps, etc. These should
be kept in a special box provided for that purpose, and when a
sufficient amount has accumulated, the lead should be melted and run
off into moulds for making burning-lead.

The Burning Lead Mould is designed to be used for this purpose. As
shown in Fig. 99, the mould consists of a sheet iron form which has
been pressed into six troughs or grooves into which the melted lead is
poured. This sheet iron form is conveniently mounted on a block of
wood which has a handle at one end, making it possible to hold the
mould while hot without danger of being burned. A sheet of asbestos
separates the iron form from the wood, thus protecting the wood from
the heat of the melted lead. A hole is drilled in the end of the
handle to permit the mould being hung on a nail when not in use. The
grooves in the iron form will produce bars of burning lead 15 inches
long, 5-16 inch thick, 3/8 inch wide at the top, and 1/4 inch wide at
the bottom.

  [Fig. 99]

  Fig. 99. Burning-Lead Moulds, and Burning Sticks Cast in Them

The advantage of this type of Burning Lead Mould over a cast iron
mould is obvious. The form, being made of sheet iron, heats up very
quickly, and absorbs only a very small amount of heat from the melted
lead. The cast-iron mould, on the other hand, takes so much heat from
the melted lead that the latter cools very quickly, and is hard to

An iron pot that will hold at least ten pounds of molten lead should
be used in melting up lead scraps for burning sticks.

When the metal has become soft enough to stir with a clean pine stick
skim off the dross. Continue heating metal until slightly yellow on

With a paddle or ladle drop in a cleaning compound of equal parts of
powdered rosin, borax and flower of sulphur. Use a teaspoonful for a
ten-pound melting and make sure the compound is perfectly dry.

Stir a little and if metal is at proper heat there will be a flare,
flash or a little burning. A sort of tinfoil popcorn effect will be
noticed floating on top of the metal. Stir until this melts down. Have
your ladle hot and skim off soft particles. Dust the mould with mould
compound, a powder which makes the lead fill the entire grooves, and
not become cool before it does.

When everything is ready, fill the ladle and pour the lead into one of
the grooves. Hold the ladle above one end of the groove while pouring,
and do not move it along the groove. Fill the other grooves in a
similar manner.

Post Builders. These are moulds which are set over the stumps of posts
which have been drilled short in removing the inter-cell connectors.
Lead is then melted in with a burning flame to build the post up to
the proper height. Figure 100 shows a set of post-builders, and Figure
101 illustrates their use.

  [Fig. 100 Set of post builders]

  [Fig. 101 Illustrating use of post builders]


Moulds for Casting Inter-Cell Connectors, Terminals, Terminal
Screws, Taper Lugs, Plate Straps, Etc.

Figure 102 shows a plate strap mould with which three straps and posts
may be cast in one minute. It has a sliding movable tooth rack for
casting an odd or even number of teeth on the strap.

  [Fig. 102 Plate strap mould]

Figure 103 shows a Link Combination Mould which casts five inter-cell
connectors for use on standard 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15 plate batteries,
four end connectors (two Dodge tapers, and standard tapers, negative
and positive), one end connector with 3/8 inch cable used on 12 volt
Maxwell battery and on all other cars a wire cable, and one small wire
to connect with end post on batteries requiring direct connection. It
also casts two post support rings to fit standard size rubber covers
and to fit posts cast with plate strap mould, and two washers which
are often needed when installing needed when installing new or rental

  [Fig. 103 and Fig. 104: Link combination mould, and castings made
   in it]

Figure 104 shows the parts which may be made with this mould.

  [Fig. 105 Cell connector mould]

  [Fig. 106 Production type strap mould]

Figure 105 shows a cell connector mould which casts practically all
the cell connectors used on standard 7, 9, 11, 13 and 15 plate
batteries. This mould is similar to the Link Combination Mould shown
in Figure 103.

  [Fig. 107 Indexing device for strap mould]

  [Fig. 108 Castings made in strap mould]

Figure 106 shows a production type strap mould which is designed to be
used by large battery shops. Forty-two styles of straps are, cast by
this mould. This mould has an indexing device as shown in Figure 107,
which is adjusted by means of a screw for moulding the straps for any
number of plates from seven to nineteen. Figure 109 shows some of the
castings which are made with this mould.

  [Fig. 109 Terminal mould and castings made in it]

Figure 109 shows a Terminal Mould which casts five reversible end
terminal connectors, a cable connector, such as is used on the
Maxwell battery, and two washers often needed in making a tight

  [Fig. 110 Screw mould]

Figure 110 shows a Screw Mould which casts standard square lead leads
on four screws in one operation, two 5/8 inch and two 3/8 inch. This
mould has a screw adjustment in the base which makes each cavity
adaptable to any length screw.


The acid proof asphaltum paint, paint brushes, wood chisels, wood
plane, and earthenware jars are all standard articles.

  [Fig. 111 Battery turntable]

Figure 111 shows a battery turntable which is very convenient when
painting cases, lead burning, etc.


Most of the articles in this list require no explanation. Some of
them, however, are of special construction.

Separator Cutter. Some battery supply houses sell special separator
cutters, but a large size photograph trimmer is entirely satisfactory.

  [Fig. 112]

  Fig. 112. Plate Press for Pressing Swollen,
  Bulged Negatives (After Plates Have Been Fully

  [Fig. 113]

  Fig. 113. Inserting Plate Press Boards Between
  Negatives Preparatory to Pressing

Plate Press. Figure 112 shows a special plate press in which the
plates are pressed between wooden jaws. No iron can come into contact
with the plates. This is a very important feature, since iron in
solution causes a battery to lose its charge very quickly. This press
is made of heavy hardwood timbers, and may be set on a bench or
mounted on the wall. A set of lead coated troughs carry away the acid
which is squeezed from the plates.

  [Fig. 114 Showing how negatives should be placed in the plate

This press is designed for pressing negative plates, the active
material of which has become bulged or swollen. A plate in this
condition has a low capacity and cannot give good service. Swollen
negatives often make it impossible to replace the plates in a jar.
When negatives are found to be bulged or swollen, the battery must be
fully charged, and the negatives then pressed. To do this, plate press
boards, which are of acid proof material, and of the proper thickness
are inserted between the negatives, as shown in Figure 113, and the
plates are then set in the press is shown in Figure 114.

  [Fig. 115 Negative group before and after pressing]

Figure 115 shows a group before and after pressing. Note that pressing
has forced the active material back into the grid where it must be if
the plates are to give good service. Never send out a battery with
swollen or bulged negatives.

Slightly buckled negatives may also be straightened out in the Plate
Press. Positives do not swell or bulge as they discharge, but shed the
active material. They are therefore not pressed Positives buckle, of
course, but should never be pressed to straighten them. The lead
peroxide of the positive plates is not elastic like the spongy the
negatives, and if positives are pressed to straighten them the paste
will crack and break from the grid. Slightly buckled positives may be
used, but if they are so badly buckled that it is impossible to
reassemble the element or put the element back into the jars, they
should be discarded.

  [Fig. 116 Battery carrier]

  [Fig. 117 Battery truck]

Battery Carrier. Figure 116 shows a very convenient battery carrier,
having a wooden handle with two swinging steel hooks for attaching to
the battery to be carried. With this type of carrier no strain is put
on the handle, as is the case if a strap is used.

Battery Truck. When a battery must be moved any considerable distance,
a truck, such as that shown in Figure 117 should be used. This truck
may easily be made in the shop, or may be made at a reasonable cost in
a carpenter shop. The rollers should be four inches or more in
diameter and should preferably be of the ball-bearing type. Rubber
tires on the rollers are a great advantage, since the rubber protects
the rollers from acid and also eliminates the very disagreeable noise
which iron wheels make, especially in going over a concrete floor or
sidewalk. The repairman need not make his truck exactly like that
shown in Figure 117, which is merely shown to give a general idea of
how such a truck should be constructed.

The truck shown in Figure 117 was made from a heavy wooden box. With
this construction lifting batteries is largely eliminated, which is
most desirable, since a battery is not the lightest thing in the
world. The battery is carried in a horizontal position and the truck
is small enough to be wheeled between cars in the shop.

  [Fig. 118 Another battery truck]

Another form of battery truck is shown in Figure 118, although this,
is not as good as that shown in Figure 117.


As the cell voltage falls while the battery is on discharge, the
voltage of the positive plates, and also the voltage of the negative
plates falls. When the battery is charged again the voltages of both
positive and negative plates rise. If a battery gives its rated
ampere-hour capacity on discharge, we do not care particularly how the
voltages of the individual positive and negative groups change. If,
however, the battery fails to give its rated capacity, the fault may
be due to defective positives or defective negatives.

If the voltage of a battery fails to come up when the battery is put
on charge, the trouble may be due to either the positives or
negatives. Positives and negatives may not charge at the same rate,
and one group may become fully charged before the other group. This
may be the case in a cell which has had a new positive group put in
with the old negatives. Cadmium tests made while the battery is on
charge will tell how fully the individual groups are charged.

Since the voltages of the positives and negatives both fall as a
battery is discharged, and rise as the battery is charged, if we
measure the voltages of the positives and negatives separately, we can
tell how far each group is charged or discharged. If the voltage of
each cell of a battery drops to 1.7 before the battery has given its
rated capacity, we can tell which set of plates has become discharged
by measuring the voltages of positives and negatives separately. If
the voltage of the positives show that they are discharged, then the
Positives are not up to capacity. Similarly, negatives are not up to
capacity if their voltage indicates that they are discharged before
the battery has given its rated capacity.

Cadmium readings alone do not give any indication of the capacity of a
battery, and the repairman must be careful in drawing conclusions from
Cadmium tests.

In general it is not always safe to depend upon Cadmium tests on a
battery which has not been opened, unless the battery is almost new.
Plates having very little active material, due to shedding, or due to
the active material being loosened from the grid, will often give good
Cadmium readings, and yet a battery with such plates will have very
little capacity. Such a condition would be disclosed by an actual
examination of the plates, or by a capacity discharge test.

How Cadmium Tests Are Made

To measure the voltages of the positives and negatives separately,
Cadmium is used. The Cadmium is dipped in the electrolyte, and a
voltage reading is taken between the Cadmium and the plates which are
to be tested. Thus, if we wish to test the negatives, we take a
voltage reading between the Cadmium and the negatives, as shown in
Fig. 119. Similarly, if we wish to test the positives, we take a
voltage reading between the Cadmium and the positives, as shown in
Fig 120.

  [Fig. 119 Making cadmium test on negative plates]

  [Fig. 120 Making cadmium test on positive plates]

In dipping the Cadmium into the electrolyte, we make two cells out of
the battery cell. One of these consists of the Cadmium and the
positives, while the other consists of the Cadmium and the negatives.
If the battery is charged, the Cadmium forms the negative element in
the Cadmium-Positives cell, and is the positive element in the
Cadmium-Negatives cell. The voltage of the Cadmium does not change,
and variations in the voltage readings obtained in making Cadmium
tests are due to changes in the state of charge of the negative and
positive plates which are being tested.

What Cadmium Is: Cadmium is a metal, just like iron, copper, or lead.
It is one of the chemical elements; that is, it is a separate and
distinct substance. It is not made by mixing two or more substances,
as for instance, solder is made by mixing tin and lead, but is
obtained by separating the cadmium from the compounds in which it is
found in nature, just as iron is obtained by treatment of iron ore in
the steel mill.

When Cadmium Readings Should Be Made

1. When the battery voltage drops to 1.7 per cell on discharge before
the battery has delivered its rated ampere-hour capacity, at the
5-hour rate when a discharge test is made.

2. When a battery on charge will not "come up," that is, if its
voltage will not come up to 2.5-2.7 per cell on charge, and its
specific gravity will not come up to 1.280-1.300.

3. Whenever you charge a battery, at the end of the charge, when the
voltage and specific gravity no longer rise, make Cadmium tests to be
sure that both positives and negatives are fully charged.

4. When you put in a new group, charge the battery fully and make
Cadmium tests to be sure that both the new and old groups are fully

5. When a 20-minute high rate discharge test is made. See page 267.

That Cadmium Readings should be taken only while a battery is in
action; that is, while it is on discharge, or while it is on charge.

Cadmium Readings taken on a battery which is on open circuit are not

When you are not using the Cadmium, it should be put in a vessel of
water and kept there. Never let the Cadmium become dry, as it will
then give unreliable readings.

Open Circuit Voltage Readings Worthless

Voltage readings of a battery taken while the battery is on open
circuit; that is, when no current is passing through the battery, are
not reliable. The voltage of a normal, fully charged cell on open
circuit is slightly over 2 volts. If this cell is given a full normal
discharge, so that the specific gravity of its electrolyte drops to
1.150, and is allowed to stand for several hours after the end of the
discharge, the open circuit voltage will still be 2 volts. Open
circuit voltage readings are therefore of little or no value, except
when a cell is "dead," as a dead cell will give an open circuit
voltage very much less than 2, and it may even give no voltage at all.

What the Cadmium Test Set Consists of

The Cadmium Tester consists of a voltmeter, Fig. 121, and two pointed
brass prods which are fastened in wooden handles, as shown in Fig.
122. A length of flexible wire having a terminal at one end is
soldered to each prod for attachment to the voltmeter. Fastened at
right angles to one of the brass prods is a rod of pure cadmium.

  [Fig. 121 Special cadmium test voltmeter, & Fig. 122 Cadmium
   test leads]

Cadmium tests may be made with any accurate voltmeter which gives
readings up to 2.5 volts in divisions of .05 volt.

The instructions given below apply especially to the special AMBU
voltmeter but these instructions may also be used in making cadmium
tests with any voltmeter that will give the correct reading.

The AMBU Cadmium Voltmeter

Fig. 121 is a view of the special AMBU Voltmeter, which is designed to
be used specially in making Cadmium tests. Fig. 122 shows the Cadmium
leads. The four red lines marked "Neg. Charged," "Neg. Discharged,"
"Pos. Charged," and "Pos. Discharged," indicate the readings that
should be obtained. Thus, in testing the positives of a battery on
charge, the pointer will move to the line which is marked "Pos.
Charged," if the positive plates are fully charged. In testing the
negatives, the pointer will move to the line marked "Neg. Charged,"
which is to the left of the "0" line, if the negatives are fully
charged, and so on. Figs. 123, 124, 125 and 126 show the pointer
in the four positions on the scale which it takes when testing fully
charged or discharged plates. In each figure the pointer is over one
of the red lines on the scale. These figures also show the readings,
in volts, obtained in making the cadmium tests on fully charged or
completely discharged plates.

  [Fig. 123 Voltmeter showing reading obtained when testing charged
   negative; & Fig. 124 Showing reading obtained when testing
   charged positives]

  [Fig. 125 Voltmeter showing reading obtained when testing discharged
   negatives; and Fig. 126 Showing reading obtained when testing
   discharged positives]

If Pointer Is Not Over the "0" Line: It sometimes happens, in shipping
the instrument, and also in the use of it, that the pointer does not
stand over the "0" line, but is a short distance away. Should you find
this to be the case, take a small screwdriver and turn the screw which
projects through the case, and which is marked "Correct Zero," so as
to bring the pointer exactly over the "0" line on the scale while the
meter has no wires connected to its binding posts.

Connections of Cadmium Leads: In making Cadmium Tests, connect the
prod which has the cadmium fastened to it to the negative voltmeter
binding post. Connect the plain brass prod to the positive voltmeter
binding post. The connections to the AMBU Cadmium Voltmeter are shown
in Fig. 127.

Testing a Battery on Discharge

The battery should be discharging continuously, at a constant, fixed
rate, see page 265.

  [Fig. 127 AMBU Cadmium Voltmeter]

Generally, on a starting ability test (see page 267), the positive
Cadmium readings will start at about 2.05 volts for a hard or very new
set of positives, and at 2.12 volts or even higher for a set of soft
or somewhat developed positives, and will drop during the test, ending
at 1.95 volts or less. The negative Cadmium readings will start at
0.23 volt or higher, up to 0.30, and will rise gradually, more
suddenly toward the end if the plates are old, ending anywhere above
0.35 and up to 0.6 to 0.7 for poor negatives.

Short Circuited Cells: In cases of short circuited cells, the voltage
of the cell will be almost down to zero. The Cadmium readings would
therefore be nearly zero also for both positives and negatives. Such a
battery should be opened for inspection and repairs.

Testing a Battery on Charge

The Battery should be charging at the finishing rate. (This i's
usually stamped on the battery box.) Dip the cadmium in the
electrolyte as before, and test the negatives by holding the plain
prod on the negative post of the cell. See Fig. 119. Test the
positives in a similar manner. See Fig. 120. The cell voltage should
also be measured. If the positives are fully charged, the positive
cadmium reading will be such that the pointer will move to the red
line marked "Pos. Charged." See Fig. 125. If you are using an ordinary
voltmeter, the meter will give a reading of from 2.35 to 2.42 volts.
The negatives are then tested in a similar manner. The
negative-cadmium reading on an ordinary voltmeter will be from .175 to
.2 to the left of the "0" line; that is, the reading is a reversed
one. If you are using the special ABM voltmeter, the pointer will move
to the red line marked "Neg. Charged." See Fig. 123. The cell voltage
should be the sum of the positive-cadmium and the negative cadmium

If the voltage of each cell will not come up to 2.5 to 2.7 volts on
charge, or if the specific gravity will not rise to 1.280 or over,
make the cadmium tests to determine whether both sets of plates, or
one of them, give readings indicating that they are fully charged. If
the positives will not give a reading of at least 2.35 volts, or if
the negatives will not give a reversed reading of at least 0.1 volt,
these plates lack capacity.

In case of a battery on charge, if the negatives do not give a minus
Cadmium reading, they may be lacking in capacity, but, on the other
hand, a minus negative Cadmium reading does not prove that the
negatives are up to hill capacity. A starting ability discharge test
(page 267) is the only means of telling whether a battery is up to

Improperly treated separators will cause poor negative-Cadmium
readings to be obtained. The charging rate should be high enough to
give cell voltages of 2.5-2.7 when testing negatives. Otherwise it may
not be possible to get satisfactory negative-Cadmium reading.
Separators which have been allowed to become partly dry at any time
will also make it difficult to obtain satisfactory negative-Cadmium


(See page 265 for directions for making tests.)

Figure 128 shows a high rate discharge cell tester. It consists of a
handle carrying two heavy prongs which are bridged by a length of
heavy nichrome wire. When the ends of the prongs are pressed down on
the terminals of a cell, a current of 150 to 200 amperes is drawn from
the cell. A voltage reading of the cell, taken while this discharge
current is flowing is a means of determining the condition of the
cell, since the heavy discharge current duplicates the heavy current
drawn by the starting motor. Each prong carries a binding post, a low
reading voltmeter being connected to these posts while the test is
made. This form of discharge tester is riot suitable for making
starting ability discharge tests, which are described on page 267.

Other forms of high rate discharge testers are made, but for the shop
the type shown in Figure 128 is most convenient, since it is light and
portable and has no moving parts, and because the test is made very
quickly without making any connections to the battery. Furthermore,
each cell is tested separately and thus six or twelve volt batteries
may be tested without making any change in the tester.

For making starting ability discharge tests at high rates, a carbon
plate or similar rheostat is most suitable, and such rheostats are on
the market.

  [Fig. 128 High rate discharge tester]

  [Fig. 129 Paraffine dip pot]


Paper tags are not acid proof, and if acid is spilled on tags tied to
batteries which are being repaired, the writing on the tags is often
obliterated so that it is practically impossible to identify the
batteries. An excellent plan to overcome this trouble is to dip the
tags in hot paraffine after they have been properly filled out. The
writing on the tags can be read easily and since paraffine is acid
proof, any acid which may be spilled on the paraffine coated tags will
not damage the tags in any way.

Figure 129 shows a paraffine dip pot. A small earthenware jar is best
for this purpose. Melt the paraffine slowly on a stove, pour it into
the pot, and partly immerse a 60-watt carbon lamp in the paraffine as
shown. The lamp will give enough heat to keep the paraffine melted,
without causing it to smoke to any extent. After filling out a Battery
Card, dip it into the Paraffine, and hold the card above the pot to
let the excess paraffine run off. Let the paraffine dry before
attaching the tag to the battery, otherwise the paraffine may be
scratched off.


  [Fig. 130]

  Fig. 130. Boxes for Holding Parts of Batteries Being Prepared

Figure 130 shows a number of wooden boxes, about 12 inches long, 8
inches wide, and 4 inches deep. These boxes are very useful for
holding the terminals inter-cell connectors, covers, plugs, etc., of
batteries which are dismantled for repairs. Write the name of the
owner with chalk on the end of the box, and rub the name off after the
battery has been put together again. The boxes shown in Figure 130 had
been used for plug tobacco, and served the purpose very well. The
larger box shown in Figure 130 may be used for collecting old
terminals, inter-cell connectors, lead drillings, etc.


The twenty gallon size is very convenient for waste acid, old
separators, and any junk parts which are wet with acid. The jars are
acid proof and will help keep the shop floor dry and anything which
will help in this is most desirable.


Acid is shipped in large glass bottles around each of which a wooden
box is built to prevent breakage, the combination being called a
"carboy." Since the acid is heavy, some means of drawing it out of the
bottle is necessary. One method is illustrated in Figure 131, wooden
rockers being screwed to the box in which the bottle is placed.

  [Fig. 131 A simple method of drawing acid from a carboy]

A very good addition to the rockers shown in Figure 131 is the inner
tube shown in Figure 132. In this illustration the rockers are not
shown, but should be used. The combination of the rockers with the
inner tube gives a very convenient method of pouring acid from a
carboy, since the heavy bottle need not be lifted, and since it helps
keep the floor and the top of the box dry.

  [Fig. 132 Use of inner tube to protect box when pouring acid]

The rubber tube shown in Figure 132 is a piece of 4 inch inner tube
which is slit down one side to make it lie flat. Near one end is cut a
hole large enough to fit tightly over the neck of the acid bottle.
Slip this rubber over the neck of the bottle and allow the long end to
hang a few inches over the side of the carboy bottle or box. This is
for pouring acid from a carboy when it is too full to allow the
contents to be removed without spilling. This device will allow the
contents of the carboy to be poured into a crock or other receptacle
placed on the floor without spilling, and also prevents dirt that may
be laying on top of the carboy from falling into the crock.

  [Fig. 133 Siphon for drawing acid from carboy]

Figure 133 shows a siphon method for drawing acid from a bottle,
although this method is more suitable for distilled water than for
acid. "A" is the bottle, "B" a rubber stopper, "C" and "D" are 3/8
inch glass or hard rubber tubes, "E" is a length of rubber tubing
having a pinch clamp at its lower end. To use this device, the stopper
and tubes are inserted in the bottle, and air blown or pumped in at
"C," while the pinch clamp is open, until acid or water begins to run
out of the lower end of tubing "E." The pinch clamp is then released.
Whenever acid or water is to be drawn from the bottle the pinch clamp
is squeezed so as to release the pressure on the tube. The water or
acid will flow down the tube automatically as long as the pinch clamp
is held open. The clamp may be made of flat or round spring brass or
bronze. This is bent round at (a). At (c) an opening is made, through
which the part (b) is bent. The clamp is operated by pressing at (d)
and (e). The rubber tubing is passed through the opening between (b)
and (c).

This method is a very good one for the small bottle of distilled water
placed on the charging bench to bring the electrolyte up to the proper
height. The lower end of tube (e) is held over the vent hole of the
cell. The pinch clamp is then squeezed and water will flow. Releasing
the clamp stops the flow of water instantly. If tube (e) is made long
enough, the water bottle may be set on the elevated shelf extending
down the center of the charging bench.

  [Fig. 134 Foot pump for drawing acid from carboy]

Figure 134 shows another arrangement, using a tire pump. D and E are
3/8 inch hard rubber tubes. D is open at both ends and has a "T"
branch to which the pump tubing is attached. To operate, a finger is
held over the upper end of D, and air is pumped into the acid bottle,
forcing the acid into the vessel F. To stop the flow of acid, the
finger is removed from D. This stops the flow instantly. This method
is the most satisfactory one when fairly large quantities of acid or
water are to be drawn off.


The degree of success which the battery repairman attains depends to a
considerable extent upon the workshop in which the batteries are
handled. It is, of course, desirable to be able to build your shop,
and thus be able to have everything arranged as you wish. If you must
work in a rented shop, select a place which has plenty of light and
ventilation. The ventilation is especially important on account of the
acid fumes from the batteries. A shop which receives most of its light
from the north is the best, as the light is then more uniform during
the day, and the direct rays of the sun are avoided. Fig. 38 shows a
light, well ventilated workroom.

The floor should be in good condition, since acid rots the wood and if
the floor is already in a poor condition, the acid will soon eat
through it. A tile floor, as described below, is best. A wooden floor
should be thoroughly scrubbed, using water to which baking soda has
been added. Then give the floor a coat of asphaltum paint, which
should be applied hot so as to flow into all cracks in the wood. When
the first coat is dry, several more coats should be given. Whenever
you make a solution of soda for any purpose, do not throw it away when
you are through with it. Instead, pour it on the floor where the acid
is most likely to be spilled. This will neutralize the acid and
prevent it from rotting the wood.

If you can afford to build a shop, make it of brick, with a floor of
vitrified brick, or of tile which is not less than two inches thick,
and is preferably eight inches square. The seams should not be less
than one-eighth inch wide, and not wider than one fourth. They should
be grouted with asphaltum, melted as hot and as thin as possible (not
less than 350° F.). This should be poured in the seams. The brick or
tile should be heated near the seams before pouring in the asphaltum.
When all the seams have been filled, heat them again. After the second
heating, the asphaltum may shrink, and it may be necessary to pour in
more asphaltum.

If possible, the floor should slope evenly from one end of the room to
the other. A lead drainage trough and pipe at the lower end of the
shop will carry off the acid and electrolyte.

It is a good plan to give all work benches and storage racks and
shelves at least two coatings of asphaltum paint. This will prevent
rotting by the acid.

The floor of a battery repair shop is, at best, a wet, sloppy affair,
and if a lead drainage trough is too expensive, there should be a
drain in the center of the floor if the shop is small, and several if
the shop is a large one. The floor should slope toward the drains, and
the drain-pipes should be made of glazed tile.

To keep the feet as dry as possible, rubbers, or even low rubber boots
should be worn. Sulphuric acid ruins leather shoes, although leather
shoes can be protected to a certain extent by dipping them in hot

  [Fig. 135 Wooden grating on shop floor to give dry walking
   surface for the repairman]

A good plan is to lay a wooden grating over the floor as shown in
Figure 135. Water and acid will run down between the wooden strips,
leaving the walking surface fairly dry. If such a grating is made, it
should be built in sections which may be lifted easily to be washed,
and to permit washing the floor. Keep both the grating and the floor
beneath covered with asphaltum paint to prevent rotting by acid. Once
a week, or oftener, if necessary, sweep up all loose dirt and then
turn the hose on the floor and grating to wash off as much acid as
possible. When the wood has dried, a good thing to do is to pour on
the floor and grating several pails of water in which washing soda or
ammonia has been dissolved.

Watch your floor. It will pay-in better work by yourself and by the
men working for you. Have large earthenware jars set wherever
necessary in which lead drillings, old plates, old connectors, old
separators, etc., may be thrown. Do not let junk cases, jars,
separators, etc., accumulate. Throw them away immediately and keep
your shop clean. A clean shop pleases Your customers, --and satisfied
customers mean success.

On the following pages a number of shop layouts are given for both
large and small shops. The beginner, of course, may not be able to
rent even a small shop, but he may rent part of an established repair
shop, and later rent an entire shop. A man working in a corner of an
established service must arrange his equipment according to the space
available. Later on, when he branches out for himself, he should plan
his shop to got the best working arrangement. Figure 136 shows a
suggested layout for a small shop. Such a layout may have to be
altered because of the size and shape of the shop, and the location of
the windows.

  [Fig. 136 Floorplan: layout for a small shop]

As soon as growth of business permits, a shop should have a drive-in,
so that the customer may bring his car off the street. Without a
drive-in all testing to determine what work is necessary will have to
be done at the curb, which is too public for many car owners. A
drive-in is also convenient if a customer leaves his car while his
battery is being repaired. To a certain extent, the advantages of a
drive-in may be secured by having a vacant lot next to the shop, with
a covering of cinders. As soon as possible, however, a shop which is
large enough to have a drive-in should be rented or built.

Figure 137 shows a 24 x 60 shop with space for three cars. The shop
equipment is explained in the table.

Figure 138 shows a 40 x 75 shop with room for six cars and a drive-in
and drive-out. This facilitates the handling of the cars.

Figure 139 shows a 30 x 100 shop in a long and somewhat narrow
building. It also has a drive-in and drive-out.

Another arrangement for the same sized shop as shown in the preceding
illustration is shown in Figure 140. Here the drive-out is at the side
and this layout is, therefore, suitable for a building located on a
corner, or next to an alley.

Figure 141 shows a larger shop, which may be used after the business
has grown considerably.

Figure 142 shows a layout suitable for the largest station.

Somewhere between Figures 136 and 142 is a layout for any service
station. The thing to do is to select the one most suitable for the
size of the business, and to fit local conditions, If a special
building is put up, local conditions are not so important.

If a shop is rented, it may not be possible to follow any of the
layouts shown in Figs. 136 to 142. However, the layout which is best
adapted for the actual shop should be selected as a guide, and the
equipment shown obtained. This should then be arranged as nearly like
the pattern layout as the shop arrangement will permit.

Concerning Light

Light is essential to good work, so you must have plenty of good light
and at the right place. For a light that is needed from one end of a
bench to the other, to look into each individual battery, or to take
the reading of each individual battery, there is nothing better than a
60 Watt tungsten lamp under a good metal shade, dark on outside and
white on inside.

A unique way to hang a light and have it movable from one end of the
bench to the other, is to stretch a wire from one end of the bench to
the other. Steel or copper about 10 or 12 B & S gauge may be used.
Stretch it about four or five feet above top of bench directly above
where the light is most needed. If You have a double charging bench,
stretch the wire directly above middle of bench. Before fastening wire
to support, slip an old fashioned porcelain knob (or an ordinary
thread spool) on the wire. The drop cord is to be tied to this knob or
spool at whatever height you wish the light to hang (a few inches
lower than your head is the right height).

Put the ceiling rosette above center of bench; cut your drop cord long
enough so that you can slide the light from one end of bench to the
other after being attached to rosette. Put vaseline on the wire so the
fumes of gas will not corrode it. This will also make the spool slide
easily. This gives you a movable, flexible light, with which you will
reach any battery on bench for inspection. The work bench light can be
rigged up the same way and a 75 or 100 Watt nitrogen lamp used.

  [Fig. 137 Shop layout]

  [Fig. 138 Shop layout]

Fig. 137 and 138: A-Receiving Rack. B-Portable Electric Drill, or Hand
Drill. C-Wash Tank, D-Tear Down Bench. E-Hot Water Pan. F-Waiting Rack
(5 Shelves). G-Repair Bench (6 ft. by 2 ft. 3 in.). H-Charging Table
(3 Circuits). I-Electrolyte(10 Gal. Crocks). J-Separator Rack.
K-Generator. L-Switchboard. M-Stock Bins, N-New Batteries, O-Live
storage. P-Sealing Compound. R-Ready Rack (5-Shelves). S-Dry Storage.
(S is not in Fig. 137.)

  [Fig. 139, 140 & 141 Various shop layouts]

Fig. 139, 140 and 141: A-Receiving Rack. B-Power Drill. C-Wash Tank.
D-Tear Down Bench. E-Hot Water Pan. F-Waiting Rack (6 Shelves).
G-Repair Bench. H-Charging Table (3 Circuits). I-Electrolyte (10 Gal.
Crocks). J-Separator Rack. K-Generator. L-Switchboard. M-Stock Bins.
N-New Batteries. O-Live storage. P-Sealing Compound. R-Ready Rack
(5-Shelves). S-Dry Storage. T-Torn Down Parts. (O and T in 141, not in
139 and 140.)

  [Fig. 142 Shop layout]

Fig. 142: A-Receiving Rack. B-Power Drill. C-Wash Tank. D-Tear Down
Bench. E-Hot Water Pan. F-Waiting Rack (6 Shelves). G-Repair Bench.
H-Charging Table. I-Electrolyte (10 Gal. Crocks). J-Separator Rack.
K-Generator. L-Switchboard. M-Stock Bins. N-New Batteries. O-Live
storage. P-Sealing Compound. R-Ready Rack. S-Dry Storage. T-Torn Down




The equipment for charging batteries, instructions for building and
wiring charging benches have already been given. What we shall now
discuss is the actual charging. The charge a battery receives on the
charging bench is called a "bench charge."

Battery charging in the service station may be divided into two
general classes:

1. Charging batteries which have run down, but which are otherwise in
good condition, and which do not require repairs.

2. Charging batteries during or after the repair process.

The second class of charging is really a part of the repair process
and will-be described in the chapter on "Rebuilding the Battery."
Charging a battery always consists of sending a direct current through
it, the current entering the battery at the positive terminal and
leaving it at the negative terminal, the charging current, of course,
passing through the battery in the opposite direction to the current
which the battery produces when discharging. When a battery discharges
chemical changes take place by means of which electrical energy is
produced. When a battery is on charge, the charging current causes
chemical changes which are the reverse of those which take place on
discharge and which put the active materials and electrolyte in such a
condition that the battery serves as a source of electricity when
replaced in the car.

Batteries are charged not only in a repair shop but also in garages
which board automobiles, and in car dealers' shops. No matter where a
battery is charged, however, the same steps must be taken and the same
precautions observed.

When a Bench Charge is Necessary:

(a) When a battery runs down on account of the generator on the car
not having a sufficient output, or on account of considerable night
driving being done, or on account of frequent use of the starting
motor, or on account of neglect on the part of the car owner.

(b) Batteries used on cars or trucks without a generator, or batteries
used for Radio work should, of course, be given a bench charge at
regular intervals.

(c) When the specific gravity readings of all cells are below 1.200,
and these readings are within 50 points of each other.

Should the gravity reading of any cell be 50 points lower or higher
than that of the other cells, it is best to make a 15-seconds high
rate discharge test (see page 266) to determine whether the cell is
defective or whether electrolyte has been lost due to flooding caused
by over-filling and has been replaced by water or higher gravity
electrolyte. If any defect shows up during the high rate test, the
battery should be opened for inspection. If no defect shows up, put
the battery on charge.

(d) When the lamps burn dimly while the engine is running.

(e) When the lamps become very dim when the starting switch is closed.

If a battery is tested by turning on the lights and then closing the
starting switch, make sure that there is no short-circuit or ground in
the starting motor circuits. Such trouble will cause a very heavy
current to be drawn from the battery, resulting in a drop in the
voltage of the battery.

(f) When the voltage of the battery has fallen below 1.7 volts per
cell, measured while all the lights are turned on.

(g) When the owner has neglected to add water to the cells regularly,
and the electrolyte has fallen below the tops of the plates.

(h) When a battery has been doped by the addition of electrolyte or
acid instead of water, or when one of the "dope" electrolytes which
are advertised to make old, worn out batteries charge up in a
ridiculously short time and show as much life and power as a new
battery. Use nothing but a mixture of distilled water and sulphuric
acid for electrolyte. The "dope" solutions are not only worthless, but
they damage a battery considerably and shorten its life. Such a
"doped" battery may give high gravity *readings and yet the lamps will
become very dim when the starting motor cranks the car, the voltage
per cell will be low when the lights are burning, or low voltage
readings (1.50 per cell) will be obtained if a high rate discharge
test is made.

Every battery which comes in for any reason whatsoever, or any battery
which is given a bench charge whenever necessary should also be
examined for other defects, such as poorly burned on connectors and
terminals, rotted case, handles pulled off, sealing compound cracked,
or a poor sealing job between the covers and jars, or covers and
posts. A slight leakage of electrolyte through cracks or imperfect
joints between the covers and jars or covers and posts is very often
present without causing any considerable trouble. If any of the other
troubles are found, however, the battery needs repairing.

Arrangement of Batteries on Charging Bench. If a battery comes in
covered with dirt, set it on the wash rack or in the sink and clean it
thoroughly before putting it on charge. In setting the batteries on
the charging bench, place all of them so that the positive terminal is
toward the right as you face the bench. The positive terminal may be
found to be painted red, or may be stamped "+", "P", or "POS". If the
markings on one of the terminals has been scratched or worn off,
examine the other terminal. The negative terminal may be found to be
painted black, or be stamped "-", "N" or "NEG".

If neither terminal is marked, the polarity may be determined with a
voltmeter, or by a cadmium test. To make the voltmeter test, hold the
meter wires on the battery terminals, or the terminals of either end
cell. When the voltmeter pointer moves to the right of the "0" line on
the scale, the wire attached to the "+" terminal of the meter is
touching the positive battery terminal, and the wire attached to the
"-" terminal of the meter is touching the negative battery terminal.
If this test is made with a meter having the "0" line at the center of
the scale, be sure that you know whether the pointer should move to
the left or right of the "0" line when the wire attached to the "+"
meter terminal is touching the positive battery terminal.

Another method of determining which is the positive terminal of the
battery is to use the cadmium test. When a reading of about two volts
is obtained, the prod held on one of the cell terminals is touching
the positive terminal. When a reading of almost zero is obtained, that
is, when the needle of the meter just barely moves from the "0" line,
or when it does not move at all, the prod held on one of the cell
terminals is touching the negative terminal. This test, made while the
battery is on open-circuit, is not a regular cadmium test, but is made
merely to determine the polarity of the battery.

The polarity of the charging line will always be known if the bench is
wired permanently. The positive charging wire should always be to the
right. If a separate switch is used for each battery (Figures 43 and
65), the wire attached to the right side of the switch is positive. If
the batteries are connected together by means of jumpers (Figures 44
and 47), the positive charging wire should be at the right hand end of
the bench as seen when facing the bench. If a constant-potential
charging circuit is used as shown in Figure 48, the positive bus-bar
should be at the top and the neutral in the center, and the negative
at the bottom.

If the polarity of the charging line wires is not known, it may be
determined by a voltmeter, in the same way as the batter-, polarity is
determined. If this is done, care should be taken to use a meter
having a range sufficient to measure the line voltage. If no such
voltmeter is available, a simple test is to fill a tumbler with weak
electrolyte or salt water and insert two wires attached to the line.
The ends of these wires should, of course, be bare for an inch or
more. Hold these wires about an inch apart, with the line alive.
Numerous fine bubbles of gas will collect around the negative wire.

With the polarities of all the batteries known, arrange them so that
all the positive terminals are at the right. Then connect them to the
individual switches (see Figure 43), or connect them together with
jumpers (see Figure 44), being sure to connect the negative of one
battery to the positive of the next. Connect the positive charging
line wire to the positive terminal of the first battery, and the
negative line wire to the negative terminal of the last battery. See
page 105.

With all connections made, and before starting to charge, go over all
the batteries again very carefully. You cannot be too careful in
checking the connections, for if one or more batteries are connected
reversed, they will be charged in the wrong direction, and will most
likely be severely damaged.

As a final check on the connections of the batteries on the line,
measure the total voltage of these batteries and see if the reading is
equal to two times the total number of cells on the line.

Now inspect the electrolyte in each cell. If it is low, add distilled
water to bring the electrolyte one-half inch above the plates. Do not
wait until a battery is charged before adding water. Do it now. Do not
add so much water that the electrolyte comes above the lower end of
the vent tube. This will cause flooding.

Charging, Rate. If you connect batteries of various sizes together on
one circuit, charge at the rate which is normal for the smallest
battery. If the rate used is the normal one for the larger batteries,
the smaller batteries will be overheated and "boiled" to death, or
they may gas so violently as to blow a considerable portion of the
active material from the plates.

It is quite possible to charge 6 and 12 volt batteries in series. The
important point is not to have the total number of cells too high. For
instance, if the 10 battery Tungar is used, ten 6-volt batteries (30
cells), or any combination which gives 30 cells or less may be used.
For instance, five 12-volt batteries (30 cells), or six 6-volt
batteries (18 cells) and two 12-volt batteries (12 cells), or any
other combination totaling 30 cells may be used. The same holds true
for motor-generators.

The charging rate is generally determined by the size of the charging
outfit. The ten battery Tungar should never have its output raised
above 6 amperes. A charging rate of 6 amperes is suitable for all but
the very smallest batteries. In any case, whether you are certain just
what charging rate to use, or not, there are two things which will
guide you, temperature and gassing.

1. Temperature. Have a battery thermometer (Figure 37) on hand, and
measure the temperature of the electrolyte of each cell on the line.
If you note that some particular cell is running hotter than the
others, keep the thermometer in that cell and watch the temperature.
Do not let the temperature rise above 110 degrees Fahrenheit, except
for a very short time. Should the highest of the temperature of the
cells rise above 110 degrees, reduce the charging rate.

2. Gassing. Near the end of a charge and when the specific gravity has
stopped rising, or is rising very slowly, bubbles of gas will rise
from the electrolyte, this being due to the charging current
decomposing the water of the electrolyte into hydrogen and oxygen. If
this gassing is too violent, a considerable amount of active material
will be blown from the plates. Therefore, when this gassing begins,
the charging rate should be reduced, unless the entire charging has
been done at a low rate, say about five amperes.

If gassing begins in any cell soon after the charge is started, or
before the specific gravity has reached its highest point, reduce the
charging rate to eliminate the gassing.

If one battery or one cell shows a high temperature and the others do
not, or begins gassing long before the others do, remove that battery
from the charging line for further investigation and replace it with
another so as not to slow up the charge of the other batteries which
are acting normally.

As long as excessive temperatures and too-early gassing are avoided,
practically any charging rate may be used, especially at the start.
With a constant potential charging set, as shown in Figure 48, the
charge may start at as high a rate as 50 amperes. If this system of
charging is used, the temperature must be watched very carefully and
gassing must be looked for. With the usual series method of charging,
a charge may, in an emergency, be started at 20 amperes or more. As a
general rule do not use a higher rate than 10 amperes. A five ampere
rate is even better, but more time will be required for the charge.

Time Required for a Charge. The time required is not determined by the
clock, but by the battery. Continue the charge until each cell is
gassing freely (not violently) and for five hours after the specific
gravity has stopped rising. The average condition of batteries brought
in for charge permits them to be fully charged in about 48 hours, the
time being determined as stated above. Some batteries may charge fully
in less time, and some may require from four days to a week, depending
entirely upon the condition of the batteries. Do not give any promise
as to when a recharge battery will be ready. No one can tell how long
it will take to charge.

Specific Gravity at the End of the Charge. The specific gravity of the
electrolyte in a fully charged cell should be from 1.280 to 1.300. If
it varies more than 10 points above or below these values, adjust it
by drawing off some of the electrolyte with a hydrometer and adding
water to lower the gravity, or 1.400 acid to raise the gravity. After
adjusting the gravity charge for one hour more.

Battery Voltage at End of Charge. The voltage of a fully charged cell
is from 2.5 to 2.7 when the temperature of the electrolyte is 80
degrees Fahrenheit; 2.4 to 2.6 when the temperature of the electrolyte
is 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and 2.35 to 2.55 volts when the temperature
of the electrolyte is 120 degrees Fahrenheit, and this voltage,
together with hydrometer readings of 1.280-1.300 indicate that the
battery is fully charged.

Just before putting a battery which has been charged into service,
give it a 15 seconds high rate discharge test, see page 266.

Painting. Before returning a battery to the owner wipe it perfectly
clean and dry. Then wipe the covers, terminals, connectors and handles
with a rag wet with ammonia. Next give the case a light coat of black
paint which may be made by mixing lamp black and shellac. This paint
dries in about five minutes and gives a good gloss. The customer may
not believe that you are returning the battery which he brought in but
he will most certainly be pleased with your service and will feel that
if you take such pains with the outside of his battery you will
certainly treat the inside with the same care when repairs are
necessary. The light coat of paint costs very little for one battery,
but may bring you many dollars worth of work.

Level of Electrolyte. During charge the electrolyte will expand, and
will generally flow out on the covers. This need not be wiped off
until the end of the charge. When the electrolyte has cooled after the
battery is taken off charge, it must be about 1/2 inch above the
plates. While the electrolyte is still warm it will stand higher than
this, but it should not be lowered by drawing off some of it, as this
will probably cause it to be below the tops of the plates and
separators when it cools.


If all goes well, the charging process will take place as described in
the preceding paragraphs. It frequently happens, however, that all
does not go well, and troubles arise. Such troubles generally consist
of the following:

Specific gravity will not rise to 1.280. This may be due to the plates
not taking a full charge, or to water having been used to replace
electrolyte which has been spilled. To determine which of these
conditions exist, make cadmium test (see page 174) on the positives
and negatives, also measure the voltage of each cell. If these tests
indicate that the plates are fully charged (cell voltage 2.5 to 2.7,
Positive-Cadmium 2.4 volts, Negative-Cadmium minus 0.15 to 0.20
volts), you will know that there is not enough acid in the
electrolyte. The thing to do then is to dump out the old electrolyte,
refill with 1.300 electrolyte and continue the charge until the
specific gravity becomes constant. Some adjustment may then have to be
made by drawing off some of the electrolyte with a hydrometer and
adding water to lower the gravity, or 1.400 acid to bring it up.
Remember that specific gravity readings tell you nothing about the
plates, unless it is known that the electrolyte contains the correct
proportions of water and acid. The cadmium test is the test which
tells you directly whether or not the plates are charged and in
charging a battery the aim is to charge the plates, and not merely to
bring the specific gravity to 1.280.

If the specific gravity will not rise to 1.280 and cadmium tests show
that the plates will not take a full charge, then the battery is, of
course, defective in some way. If the battery is an old one, the
negatives are probably somewhat granulated, the positives have
probably lost much of their active material, resulting in a
considerable amount of sediment in the jars, and the separators are
worn out, carbonized, or clogged with sediment. Such a battery should
not be expected to give as good service as a new one, and the best
thing to do if the tests show the battery to be more than half
charged, is to put it back on the car, taking care to explain to the
owner why his battery will not "come up" and telling him that he will
soon need a new battery. Remember that improperly treated separators,
or defective separators will cause poor Negative-Cadmium readings to
be obtained.

If a fairly new battery will not take a full charge, as indicated by
hydrometer readings and cadmium tests, some trouble has developed due
to neglect, abuse, or defect in manufacture. If all cells of a fairly
new battery fail to take a full charge within 48 hours, the battery
has probably been abused by failing to add water regularly, or by
allowing battery to remain in an undercharged condition. Such a
battery should be kept on the line for several days more, and if it
then still will not take a full charge the owner should be told what
the condition of the battery is, and advised to have it opened for

If one cell of a battery fails to take a charge, but the other cells
charge satisfactorily, and cadmium tests show that the plates of this
cell are not taking a charge, the cell should be opened for
inspection. If one cell of a battery charges slowly, cut the other
cells out of the line, and charge the low cell in series with the
other batteries on the charging line.

If all cells of a battery, whether new or old, will not take even half
a charge, as indicated by hydrometer readings (1.200), the battery
should be opened for inspection.

If the gravity of a battery on charge begins to rise long before the
voltage rises, and if the gravity rises above 1.300, there is too
great a proportion of acid in the electrolyte. The remedy is to dump
out the electrolyte, refill with pure water and continue the charge at
a lower rate than before, until the specific gravity stops rising.
Then charge for ten hours longer, dump out the water (which has now
become electrolyte by the acid formed by the charging current), refill
with about 1.350 electrolyte and continue the charge, balancing the
gravity if necessary at the end of the charge.

If a battery becomes very hot while on charge at a rate which is not
normally too high for the battery, it indicates that the battery is
badly sulphated, or has a partial short-circuit. Gassing generally
goes with the high temperature.

If you can detect a vinegar-like odor rising from the vent holes, you
may be absolutely sure that the separators used in that battery have
developed acetic acid due to not having received the proper treatment
necessary to prepare them for use in the battery. The electrolyte
should be dumped from such a battery immediately and the battery
should be filled and rinsed with water several times. Then the battery
should be opened without loss of time, to see whether, by removing the
separators and washing the plates thoroughly, the plates may be saved.
If the acetic acid has been present for any length of time, however,
the plates will have been ruined beyond repair, the lead parts being
dissolved by the acid.

If the electrolyte of a battery on charge has a white, milky look,
there may be impurities which cause numerous minute bubbles to form,
such bubbles giving the electrolyte its milky appearance. The milky
appearance may be due to the use of "hard" water in refilling, this
water containing lime.

The electrolyte as seen with the acid of an electric lamp or
flashlight should be perfectly clear and colorless. Any scum,
particles of dirt, any color whatsoever shows that the electrolyte is
impure. This calls for dumping out the electrolyte, filling and
rinsing with pure water, refilling with new electrolyte and putting
the battery back on the charging line. Of course, this may not cause
the battery to charge satisfactorily, which may be due to the troubles
already described.

Should it ever happen that it is impossible to send a current through
a charging circuit go over all the connections to make sure that you
have good contact at each battery terminal, and that there are no
loose inter-cell connectors. If all connections to the batteries are
good, and there are no loose inter-cell connectors, cut out one
battery at a time until you start the current flowing, when you cut
out some particular battery. This battery should then be opened
without further tests, as it is without a doubt in a bad condition.

The conditions which may exist when a battery will not charge, as
shown especially by cadmium tests, are as follows:

(a) The battery may have been allowed to remain in a discharged
condition, or the owner may have neglected to add water, with the
result that the electrolyte did not cover the plates. In either case a
considerable amount of crystallized sulphate will have formed in the
plates. Plates in such a condition will require a charge of about a
week at a low rate and will then have to be discharged and recharged
again. Several such cycles of charge and discharge may be necessary.
It may even be impossible to charge such a battery, no matter how many
cycles of charge and discharge are given. If the owner admits that his
battery has been neglected and allowed to stand idle for a
considerable time, get his permission to open the battery.

(b) The battery may have been overheated by an excessive charging
rate, or by putting it on a car in a sulphated condition. The normal
charging rate of the generator on the car will over heat a sulphated
battery. Overheated plates buckle their lower edges cut through the
separators, causing a short-circuit between plates.

(c) The pockets in the bottoms of the jars may have become filled with
sediment, and the sediment may be short-circuiting the plates.

(d) Impurities may have attacked the plates and changed the active
materials to other substances which do not form a battery. Such plates
may be so badly damaged that they are brittle and crumbled. Acetic
acid from improperly treated separators will dissolve lead very
quickly, and may even cause an open circuit in the cell.

(e) The conditions described in (a), (b), and (c) will permit a
charging current to pass through the battery, but the plates will not
become charged. It is possible, of course, but not probable, that a
condition may exist in which all the plates of one or both groups of a
cell may be broken from the connecting straps, or inter-cell
connectors may be making no contact with the posts. In such a case, it
would be impossible to send a charging current through the battery.
Acetic acid from improperly treated separators, and organic matter
introduced by the use of impure water in refilling will attack the
lead of the plates, especially at the upper surface of the
electrolyte, and may dissolve all the plate lugs from the connecting
straps and cause an open-circuit.

(f) The separators may be soggy and somewhat charred and blackened, or
they may be clogged up with sulphate, and the battery may need new

(g) The spongy lead may be bulged, or the positives may be buckled.
The active material is then not making good contact with the grids,
and the charging current cannot get at all the sulphate and change it
to active material. The remedy in such a case is to press the
negatives so as to force the active material back into the grids, and
to put in new positives if they are considerably buckled.

(h) One of the numerous "dope" electrolytes which are offered to the
trustful car owner may have been put in the battery. Such "dopes"
might cause very severe damage to the plates. Tell your customers to
avoid using such "dope."

The conditions which may exist when the plates of a battery take a
charge, as indicated by cadmium tests, but the gravity will not come
up to 1.280 are as follows:

(a) There may be considerable sediment in the jars but not enough to
short circuit the plates. If the battery has at some time been in a
sulphated condition and has been charged At too high a rate, the
gassing that resulted will have caused chips of the sulphate to drop
to the bottom of the jars. When this sulphate was formed, some of the
acid was taken from the electrolyte, and if the sulphate drops from
the plates, this amount of acid cannot be recovered no matter how long
the charge is continued. If the owner tells you that his battery has
stood idle for several months at some time, this is a condition which
may exist. The remedy is to wash and press the negatives, wash the
positives, put in new separators, pour out the old electrolyte and
wash out the jars, fill with 1.400 acid, and charge the battery.

(b) Impurities may have used up some of the acid which cannot be
recovered by charging. If the plates are not much damaged the remedy
is the same as for (a). Damaged plates may require renewal.

(c) Electrolyte may have been spilled accidentally and replaced by

(d) Too much water may have been added, with the result that the
expansion of the electrolyte due to a rise in temperature on charge
caused it to overflow. This, of course, resulted in a loss of some of
the acid.

The causes given in (c) and (d) may have resulted in the top of the
battery case being acid-eaten or rotted. The remedy in these two
instances is to draw off some of the electrolyte, add some 1.400 acid
and continue the charge. If plates and separators look good and there
is but little sediment, this is the thing to do.

If Battery will not hold a Charge. If a battery charges properly but
loses its charge in a week or less, as indicated by specific gravity
readings, the following troubles may exist:

(a) Impurities in the cells, due to the use of impure water in the
electrolyte, or in the separators. Some impurities (see page 76) do
not attack the plates, but merely cause self-discharge. The remedy is
to dump out the old electrolyte, rinse the jars with pure water, fill
with new electrolyte of the same gravity as the old and recharge. If
this does not remove impurities, the battery should be opened, the
plates washed, jars cleaned out, new separators put in, and battery
reassembled and charged.

(b) There may be a slow short-circuit, due to defective separators or
excessive amount of sediment. If preliminary treatment in (a) does not
cause battery to hold charge, the opening of battery and subsequent
treatment will remove the cause of the slow short-circuit.


1. Make sure every battery is properly tagged before going on line.

2. Determine as quickly as possible from day to day, those batteries
that will not charge. Call owner and get permission to open up any
such battery and do whatever is necessary to put it in good shape.

3. As soon as a battery charges to 1.280-1.300, the voltage is 2.5-2.7
per cell and the cadmium readings are 2.4 or more for the positives
and -0.15 to -0.20 for the negatives and the gravity voltage and
cadmium readings do not change for five hours, remove it from the line
as finished and replace it with another if possible. Go over your line
at least three times a day and make gravity, temperature, and cadmium

4. Make a notation, with chalk, of the gravity of each cell each
morning. Do not trust to memory.

5. Remove from the line as soon as possible any battery that has a
leaky cell and neutralize with soda the acid that has leaked out.

6. Batteries that are sloppers, with rotten cases, and without handles
are sick and need a doctor. Go after the owner and get permission to

7. Keep the bench orderly and clean.

8. Remember that if you have a line only partly full and have other
batteries waiting to be charged you are losing money by not keeping a
full line.

9. Leave the Vent Plugs in When Charging. The atmosphere in many
service stations, where the ventilation is poor, is so filled with
acid fumes that customers object to doing business there.

The owners of these places may not notice these conditions, being used
to it, or rather glory in being able to breathe such air without
coughing or choking, but it certainly does not invite a customer to
linger and spend his money.

The remedy for such a condition is to leave the vent plugs in place on
the batteries that are charging so that the acid spray in the gas from
the battery condenses out as it strikes these plugs and drips back
into the cells, while the gas passes out through the small openings in
the plug.

The plugs need only be screwed into the openings by one turn, or only
set on top of the vent openings to accomplish the result.

This takes no additional time and more than repays for itself in the
saving of rusted tools and improved conditions in the battery room and
surroundings. In charging old Exide batteries, be sure to replace the
vent plugs and turn them to open the air passages which permit the
escape of gases which form under the covers. If you wish to keep these
air passages open without replacing the plugs, which may be done for
convenience, give the valve (see page 21) a quarter turn with a
screwdriver or some other tool.

10. If the electrolyte from a battery rises until it floods over the
top of the jar, it shows that too much water was added when the
battery was put on charge, the water rising to the bottom of the vent
tube, thereby preventing gases formed (except those directly below the
vent hole) from escaping. This gas collects under the covers, and its
pressure forces the electrolyte up into the vent hole and over the top
of the battery. In charging old U.S.L. batteries it is especially
necessary to keep the air vent (see page 20) open to prevent flooding,
since the lower end of the vent tube is normally a little below the
surface of the electrolyte.

Remember, do not have the electrolyte come up to the lower end of the
vent tube.

NOTE: To obtain satisfactory negative cadmium readings, the charging
rate should be high enough to give a cell voltage of 2.5-2.7.

Improperly treated separators, or separators which have been allowed
to become partly dry at any time will make it impossible to obtain
satisfactory negative cadmium readings.


Lead cannot be "burned" in the sense that it bursts into flame as a
piece of paper does when a match is applied to it. If sufficient heat
is applied, the lead will oxidize and feather away into a yellow
looking dust, but it does not burn. The experienced battery man knows
that by "lead burning" is meant the heating of lead to its melting
point, so that two lead surfaces will weld together. This is a welding
and not a "burning" process, and much confusion would be avoided if
the term "lead welding" were used in place of the term "lead burning."

The purpose of welding lead surfaces together is to obtain a joint
which offers very little resistance to the flow of current, it being
absolutely necessary to have as low a resistance as possible in the
starting circuit. Welding also makes joints which are strong
mechanically and which cannot corrode or become loose as bolted
connections do. Some earlier types of starting and lighting batteries
had inter-cell connectors which were bolted to the posts, but these
are no longer used.

The different kinds of lead-burning outfits are listed on page 143 The
oxygen-acetylene and the oxygen-hydrogen flames give extremely high
temperatures and enable you to work fast. Where city gas is available,
the oxygen illuminating gas combination will give a very good flame
which is softer than the oxygen acetylene, oxygen-hydrogen outfits.
Acetylene and compressed air is another good combination.

There are two general classes of lead-welding:

(a) Welding connecting bars, called "cell" connectors, top connectors,
or simply "connectors," to the posts which project up through the cell
covers, and welding terminals to the end posts of a battery.

(b) Welding plates to "straps" to form groups. The straps, of course,
have joined to them the posts which project through the cell covers
and by means of which cells are connected together, and connections
made to the electrical system of the car.

In addition to the above, there are other processes in which a burning
(welding) flame is used:

(c) Post-building, or building posts, which have been drilled or cut
short, up to their original size.

(d) Extending plate lug. If the lug which connects a plate to the
plate strap is too short, due to being broken, or cut too short, the
lug may be extended by melting lead into a suitable iron form placed
around the lug.

(e) Making temporary charging connections between cells by lightly
welding lead strips to the posts so as to connect the cells together.

(f) A lead-burning (welding) flame is also used to dry out the channel
in cell covers before pouring in the sealing compound, in re-melting
sealing compound which has already been poured, so as to assure a
perfect joint between the compound cover and jar, and to give the
compound a smooth glossy finish. These processes are not welding
processes and will not be described here.

General Lead Burning Instructions

Flame. With all the lead burning outfits, it is possible to adjust the
pressures of the gases so as to get extremely hot, medium, and soft
flames. With the oxygen-acetylene, or oxygen-hydrogen flame, each gas
should have a pressure of about two pounds. With the
oxygen-illuminating gas flame, the oxygen should have a pressure of 8
to 10 pounds. The city gas then does not need to have its pressure
increased by means of a pump, the normal pressure (6 to 8 ounces)
being satisfactory.

Various makes of lead-burning outfits are on the market, and the
repairman should choose the one which he likes best; since they all
give good results. All such outfits have means of regulating the
pressures of the gases used. With some the gases are run close to the
burning tip before being mixed, and have an adjusting screw where the
gases mix. Others have a Y shaped mixing valve at some distance from
the burning tip, as shown in Figure 78. Still others have separate
regulating valves for each gas line.

With these adjustments for varying the gas pressure, extremely hot,
hissing flames, or soft flames may be obtained. For the different
welding jobs, the following flames are suitable:

1. A sharp, hissing flame, having a very high temperature is the one
most suitable for the first stage in welding terminals and connectors
to the posts.

2. A medium flame with less of a hiss is suitable for welding plates
to strips and lengthening plate lugs.

3. A soft flame which is just beginning to hiss is best for the
finishing of the weld between the posts and terminals or connectors.
This sort of a flame is also used for finishing a sealing job, drying
out the cover channels before sealing, and so on.

In adjusting the burning flame, 4 the oxygen is turned off entirely, a
smoky yellow flame is obtained. Such a flame gives but little heat. As
the oxygen is gradually turned on the flame becomes less smoky and
begins to assume a blue tinge. It will also be noticed that a sort of
a greenish cone forms in the center portion of the flame, with the
base of the cone at the torch and the tip pointed away from the torch.
At first this inner-cone is long and of almost the same color as the
outer portion of the flame. As the oxygen pressure is increased, this
center cone becomes shorter and of a more vivid color, and its tip
begins to whip about. When the flame is at its highest temperature it
will produce a hissing sound and the inner cone will be short and
bright. With a softer flame, which has a temperature suitable for
welding plates to a strap, the inner cone will be longer and less
vivid, and the hissing will be greatly diminished.

The temperature of the different parts of the flame varies
considerably, the hottest part being just beyond the end of the inner
cone. Experience with the particular welding outfit used will soon
show how far the tip of the torch should be held from the lead to be

Cleanliness. Lead surfaces which are to be welded together must be
absolutely free from dirt. Lead and dirt will not mix, and the dirt
will float on top of the lead. Therefore, before trying to do any lead
welding, clean the surfaces which are to be joined. The upper ends of
plate lugs may be cleaned with a flat file, knife., or wire brush. The
posts and inter-cell connectors should be cleaned with a knife, steel
wire brush, or triangular scraper. Do not clean the surfaces and then
wait a long time before doing the lead burning. The lead may begin to
oxidize if this is done and make it difficult to do a good job.

The surfaces which are to be welded together should also be dry. If
there is a small hole in the top of a post which is to be welded to a
connector or terminal, and this hole contains acid, a shower of hot
lead may be thrown up by the acid, with possible injury to the

Do not try to save time by attempting to weld dirty or wet lead
surfaces, because time cannot be saved by doing so, and you run the
risk of being injured if hot lead is thrown into your face. Remove
absolutely every speck of dirt--you will soon learn that it is the
only way to do a good job.

Safety Precautions. Remove the vent plugs and blow down through the
vent holes to remove any gases which may have collected above the
surface of the electrolyte. An explosion may result if this is not
done. To protect the rubber covers, you may cover the whole top of the
battery except the part at which the welding is to be done, with a
large piece of burlap or a towel which has been soaked in water. The
parts covered by the cloth must be dried thoroughly if any welding on
them. Instead of using a wet cloth, a strip of asbestos may be laid
over the vent holes, or a small square of asbestos may be laid over
each vent hole.

Burning on the Cell Connectors and Terminals

Have the posts perfectly clean and free from acid. Clean the tops,
bottoms and sides of the connectors with a wire brush, Figure 143.
Finish the top surfaces with a coarse file, Figure 144. With a pocket
knife clean the inside surfaces of the connector holes. Place the
connectors and terminals in their proper positions on the posts, and
with a short length of a two by two, two by one, or two by four wood
pound them snugly in position, Figure 145. Be sure that the connectors
are perfectly level and that the connectors are in the correct
position as required on the car on which the battery is to be used.
The top of the post should not come flush with the top of the
connector. Note, from Figure 146, that the connector has a double
taper, and that the lower tapered surface is not welded to the post.
If the post has been built up too high it should be cut down with a
pair of end cutting nippers so that the entire length of the upper
taper in the connector is in plain sight when the connector is put in
position on the post. This is shown in Figure 146. With the connectors
in place, and before welding them to the posts, measure the voltage of
the whole battery to be sure that the cells are properly connected, as
shown by the voltage reading being equal to two times the number of
cells. If one cell has been reversed, as shown by a lower voltage
reading now is the time to correct the mistake.

  [Fig. 143 Brushing connector before burning in]

  [Fig. 144 Rasping connector before burning in]

The connectors and terminals are now ready to be welded to the posts.
Before bringing any flame near the battery be sure that you have blown
out any gas which may have collected under the covers. Then cover the
vents with asbestos or a wet cloth as already described. You will
need strips of burning lead, such as those made in the burning lead
mould described on page 164.

Use a hot, hissing flame for the first stage. With the flame properly
adjusted, hold it straight above the post, and do not run it across
the top of the battery. Now bring the flame straight down over the
center of the post, holding it so that the end of the inner cone of
the flame is a short distance above the post. When the center of the
post begins to melt, move the flame outward with a circular motion to
gradually melt the whole top of the post, and to melt the inner
surface of the hole in the connector. Then bring the lower end of your
burning lead strip close to and over the center of the hole, and melt
in the lead, being sure to keep the top of the post and the inner
surface of the hole in the connector melted so that the lead you are
melting in will flow together and unite. Melt in lead until it comes
up flush with the upper surface of the connector. Then remove the
flame. This completes the first stage of the welding process. Now
repeat the above operation for each post and terminal.

  [Fig. 145 Leveling top connectors before burning in]

It is essential that the top of the post and the inner surface of the
hole in the connector be kept melted as long as you are running in
lead from the strip of burning lead. This is necessary to have all
parts fuse together thoroughly. If you allow the top of the post, or
the inner surface of the hole in the connector to chill slightly while
you are feeding in the lead, the parts will not fuse, and the result
will be a poor Joint, which will heat up and possibly reduce the
current obtained from the battery when the starting switch is closed.
This reduction may prevent the starting motor from developing
sufficient torque to crank the engine.

When the joint cools, the lead will shrink slightly over the center of
the posts. To finish the welding, this lead is to be built up flush or
slightly higher than the connector. Brush the tops of the post and
connector thoroughly with a wire brush to remove any dirt which may
have been floating in the lead. (Dirt always floats on top of the
lead.) Soften the burning flame so that it is just barely beginning to
hiss. Bring the flame down over the center of the post. When this
begins to melt, move the flame outward with a circular motion until
the whole top of post and connector begins to melt and fuse. If
necessary run in some lead from the burning lead strip. When the post
and connector are fused, clear to the outer edge of the connector,
raise the flame straight up from the work.

  [Fig. 146 Connector in position on post for for welding to post.
   Surfaces A-B are not welded together]

You will save time by doing the first stage of the burning on all
posts first, and then finish all of them. This is quicker than trying
to complete both stages of burning on each post before going to the
next post. The object in the finishing stage is to melt a thin layer
of the top of post and connector, not melting deep enough to have the
outer edge of the connector melt and allow the lead to run off. All
this must be done carefully and dexterously to do a first-class job,
and you must keep the flame moving around over the top and not hold it
in any one place for ally length of time, so as not to melt too deep,
or to melt the outer edge and allow the lead to run off and spoil the
job. Sometimes the whole mass becomes too hot and the top cannot be
made smooth with the flame. If this occurs wait until the connector
cools, soften the flame, and try again. Figure 147 shows the welding

  [Fig. 147 Connectors "burned" to posts]

Burning Plates to Strap and Post

First clean all the surfaces which are to be welded together. Take
your time in doing this because you cannot weld dirty surfaces

Plates which compose a group are welded to a "strap" to which a post
is attached, as shown in Figure 5. The straps shown in Figure 5 are
new ones, as made in the factory. Plate lugs are set in the notches in
the straps and each one burned in separately. In using old straps from
a defective group, it is best to cut the strap close to the post, thus
separating all the plates from the post in one operation, as was done
with the post shown in Figure 96. If only one or two plates are to be
burned on, they are broken or cut off and slots cut in the strap to
receive the lugs of the new plates, as shown in Figures 148 and 149.

  [Fig. 148 Sawing slot in plate strap]

Set the plates in a plate burning rack, as shown in Figure 96, placing
the adjustable form around the lugs and strap as shown in this figure.
Be sure to set the post straight, so that the covers will fit. A good
thing is to try a cover over the post to see that the post is set up
properly. The post must, of course, be perpendicular to the tops of
the plates. If the slotted plate strap shown in Figure 5 is used, or
if one or two plates have been cut off, melt the top of the lug of one
of the plates which are to be burned oil, and the surfaces of the
strap to which the plate is to be welded. Melt in lead from a
burning-lead strip to bring the metal up flush with the surface of the
strap. Proceed with each plate which is to be burned on.

If all the plates have been sawed from the strap, leaving the post
with a short section of the strap attached, as shown in Figure 96,
melt the edge of the strap, and the top of one or two of the end plate
lugs and run in lead from the burning strip to make a good joint.
Proceed in this way until all the lugs are joined to the strap and
then run the flame over the top of the entire strap to make a smooth
uniform weld. Be sure to have the lower edge of the strap fuse with
the plate lugs and then run in lead to build the strap up to the
proper thickness. Raise the flame occasionally to see that all parts
are fusing thoroughly and to prevent too rapid heating.

  [Fig. 149 Slotting saw, a group with two plates cut off, and
   slots in strap for new plates]

When enough lead has been run in to build the strap tip to the correct
thickness and the plate lugs are thoroughly fused with the strap,
raise the flame straight up from the work. Allow the lead to "set" and
then remove the adjustable form and lift the group from the burning
rack. Turn the group up-side-down and examine the bottom of the strap
for lead which ran down the lugs during the welding process. Cut off
any such lead with a saw, as it may cause a short-circuit when the
plates are meshed with the other group.

Post Building

In drilling down through the inter-cell connectors to separate them
from the posts in opening a battery, the posts may be drilled too
short. In reassembling the battery it is then necessary to build the
posts up to their original height. This is done with the aid of
post-builders, shown in Figure 100.

Clean the stub of the post thoroughly and also clean the inside of the
post builder. Then set the post builder carefully over the stub post,
so that the upper surface of the post builder is parallel to the upper
surface of the plate strap. The built up post will then be
perpendicular to the surface of the strap, which is necessary, in
order to have the covers and connectors fit properly.

With the post builder set properly adjust the burning torch to get a
sharp, hissing flame. Bring the flame straight down on the center of
the post stub. When the center of the post stub begins to melt, move
the flame outward with a circular motion until the whole top of the
stub begins to melt. Then run in lead from a burning lead strip,
Figure 101, at the same time keeping the flame moving around on the
top of the post to insure a good weld. In this way build up the post
until the lead comes up to the top of the post builder. Then lift the
flame straight up from the post. Allow the lead to set, and then
remove the post builder, grasping it with a pair of gas or combination
pliers and turn the post builder around to loosen it.

Extending Plate Lugs

It sometimes happens that a good plate is broken from a strap, thus
shortening the lug. Before the plate may be used again, the lug must
be extended to its original length. To do this, clean the surfaces of
the lug carefully, lay the plate on a sheet of asbestos, and place an
iron form having a slot of the correct width, length, and thickness,
as shown in Figure 150. Use a medium hissing flame, and melt the upper
edge of the lug, and then run in lead from the lead burning strip to
fill the slot in the iron form. The plate may then be used again.

  [Fig. 150 Extending lug on plate]

Making Temporary Charging Connections

After a battery has been opened it is often desired to charge a
battery without burning on the intercell connectors. Temporary
connections may be made between cells by placing a short length of a
burning lead strip from post to post and applying a flame for an
instant to spot-weld the strip to the top of the post.


In using special moulds for casting inter-cell connectors, plate
straps with posts, terminals, etc., follow the special instructions
furnished by the manufacturers as to the manipulation of the special
moulds made by them.

Aside from the special instructions for the use of moulds, there are
general rules for the melting of lead and handling it after it is
melted, which must be observed if good castings are to be made.

Raw Materials. In every battery repair shop a supply of old terminals,
cell connectors, posts, and straps, will gradually accumulate. These
should not be thrown away or sold as junk, but should be kept in a box
or jar provided for that purpose. Old plates should not be saved,
since the amount of lead in the grid is small and it is often covered
with sulphate. The lugs connecting the plates to the straps may,
however, be used. Before using the scrap lead as much dirt as possible
should be brushed off, and all moisture must be dried off thoroughly.
Scrap lead contains some antimony, which is metal used to give
stiffness to the parts. Using miscellaneous scrap sometimes gives
castings which do not contain the proper percentage of antimony. If
there is too much antimony present, cracked castings will be the
result. To remedy this condition, bars of pure lead should be
purchased from some lead manufacturing company. Adding pure lead will
reduce the percentage of antimony. Bars of pure antimony should also
be kept oil hand in case the castings are too soft.

Lead Melting Pots are standard articles which may be purchased from
jobbers. A pot having a 25 pound capacity is suitable for small shops
and for larger shops a 125-pound size is best. Before melting any lead
in such pots, have them thoroughly free from dirt, grease, or
moisture, not merely in order to get clean castings, but also to avoid
melted lead being thrown out of the pot on account of the presence of
moisture. Severe burns may be the result of carelessness in this

In starting with an empty melting pot, turn oil the heat before
putting in any lead, and let the pot become thoroughly heated in order
to drive off any moisture. With the pot thoroughly hot, drop in the
lead, which must also be dry. When the metal has become soft enough to
stir with a clean pine stick, skim off the dirt and dross which
collects on top and continue heating the lead until it is slightly
yellow oil top. Dirt and lead do not mix, and the dirt rises to the
top of the metal where it may readily be skimmed off.

With a paddle or ladle, drop in a cleaning compound of equal parts of
powdered rosin, borax, and flower of sulphur. Use a teaspoonful of
this compound for each ten pounds of metal, and be sure that the
compound is absolutely dry. Stir the metal a little, and if it is at
the proper temperature, there will be a flare, flash, or a little
burning. A sort of tinfoil popcorn effect will be noticed oil top of
the lead. Stir until this melts down.

Have the ladle with which you dip up the melted lead quite dry. When
dipping up some of the lead, skim back the dark skin which forms oil
top of the lead and dip up the clean bright lead for pouring.

In throwing additional lead into a pot which is partly filled with
melted lead, be sure that the lead which is thrown in the pot is dry,
or else hot lead may be spattered in your face.

Have the moulds clean and dry. The parts with which the lead comes
into contact should be dusted with a mould compound which fills in the
rough spots in the metal so that the flow of lead will not be
obstructed, and the lead will fill the mould quickly. Dip tip enough
lead to fill the part of the mould you use. When you once start
pouring do not, under any circumstance, stop pouring until the lead
has completely filled the mould. Lead cools very quickly after it is
poured into the mould, and if you stop pouring even for all instant,
you will have a worthless casting.

In a shop having an ordinary room temperature, it is generally
unnecessary to heat the moulds before making up a number of castings.
If it is found, however, that the first castings are defective due to
the cold mould chilling the lead, the mould should be heated with a
soft flame. After a few castings have been made, the mould will become
hot enough so that there will be no danger of the castings becoming

When the castings have cooled sufficiently to be removed, strike the
mould a few blows with a wooden mallet or a rawhide hammer to loosen,
the castings before opening the mould. The castings may then be
removed with a screwdriver.

Cracked castings indicate that the mould was opened before the
castings had cooled sufficiently, or that there is too much antimony
in the castings. The remedy is to let the castings cool for a longer
time, or to add pure lead to the melting pot.


The electrolyte used in the battery is made by mixing chemically pure
concentrated Sulphuric Acid with chemically pure water. The
concentrated acid, or "full strength" acid cannot be used, not only
because it would destroy the plates, but also because water is needed
for the chemical actions which take place as a cell charges and
discharges. The water therefore serves, not only to dilute the acid,
but also to make possible the chemical reactions of charge and

The full strength acid has a specific gravity of 1.835, and is mixed
with the water to obtain the lower specific gravity which is necessary
in the battery. The simplest scheme is to use only 1.400 specific
gravity acid. This acid is used in adjusting the specific gravity of a
battery on charge in case the specific gravity fails to rise to a high
enough value. It is also used in filling batteries that have been

Acid is received from the manufacturer in ten gallon glass bottles
enclosed in wooden boxes, these being called "carboys." Distilled
water comes in similar bottles. When distilled in the shop, the water
should be collected in bottles also, although smaller ones may be used.

Neither the acid nor the water should ever be placed in any vessels
but those made of lead, glass, porcelain, rubber, or glazed
earthenware. Lead cups, tanks, and funnels may be used in handling
electrolyte, but the electrolyte must not be put in containers made of
any metal except lead. Lead is rather expensive for making such
containers, and the glass bottles, porcelain, rubber, or glazed
earthenware may be used.

In mixing acid with water, pour the water in the bottle, pitcher or
jar, and then add the acid to the water very slowly. Do not pour the
acid in quickly, as the mixture will become very hot, and may throw
spray in your face and eyes and cause severe burns. Never add the
water to the acid, as this might cause an explosion and burn your face
and eyes seriously. Stir the mixture thoroughly with a wooden paddle
while adding the acid. A graduate, such as is used in photography, is
very useful in measuring out the quantities of acid and water. The
graduate may be obtained in any size up to 64 ounces, or two quarts.
In using the graduate for measuring both acid and water, be sure to
use the following table giving the parts of water by volume. Although
the graduate is marked in ounces, it is for ounces of water only. If,
for instance, the graduate were filled to the 8 ounce mark with acid,
there would be more than eight ounces of acid in the graduate because
the acid is heavier than the water. But if the proportions of acid and
water are taken by volume, the graduate may be used.

A convenient method in making up electrolyte, is to have a 16 ounce
graduate for the acid, and a 32 or 64 ounce graduate for the water. In
the larger graduate pour the water up to the correct mark. In the 16
ounce graduate, pour 1.400 acid up to the 10 ounce mark. Then add the
acid directly to the water in the graduate, or else pour the water
into a bottle or pitcher, and add the acid to that. For instance, if
we have a 32 ounce graduate, and wish to make up some 1.280 acid, we
fill this graduate with water up to the 5-1/2 ounce mark. We then fill
the 16 ounce graduate with 1.400 acid up to the 10 ounce mark. Then we
slowly pour the 1.400 acid into the graduate containing the water,
giving us 1.280 acid. In a similar manner other specific gravities are
obtained, using the same amount of 1.400 acid in each case, but
varying the amount of water according to the figures given in the last
column of the next to the last table.

The following table shows the number of parts of distilled water to
one part of 1.400 specific gravity electrolyte to prepare electrolyte
of various specific gravities. The specific gravity of the mixture
must be taken when the temperature of the mixture is 70° F. If its
temperature varies more than 5 degrees above or below 70°F, make the
corrections described on page 65 to find what the specific gravity
would be if the temperature were 70° F.


For 1.300 specific gravity use 5 ounces of distilled water for each
pound of 1.400 electrolyte.

For 1.280 specific gravity use 6-1/2 ounces of distilled water for
each pound of 1.400 electrolyte.

For 1.275 specific gravity use 6-3/4 ounces distilled water for each
pound of 1.400 electrolyte.

For 1.260 specific gravity use 7-1/2 ounces distilled water for each
pound of 1.400 electrolyte.


For 1.300 specific gravity use 3-1/2 pints distilled water for each
gallon of 1.400 electrolyte.

For 1.280 specific gravity use 4-1/2 pints distilled water for each
gallon of 1.400 electrolyte.

For 1.275 specific gravity use 5 pints distilled water for each gallon
of 1.400 electrolyte.

For 1.260 specific gravity use 5-1/4 pints distilled water for each
gallon of 1.400 electrolyte.

In case you wish to use other measuring units than those given in the
above table, this table may be written as follows, giving the number
of parts distilled water to 10 parts of 1.400 specific gravity

Specific Gravity    Desired Parts by Weight    Parts by Volume
----------------    -----------------------    ---------------
1.300                   3                         4-1/4
1.280                   4                         5-1/4
1.275                   4-1/6                     6
1.260                   4-7/10                    6-1/2

The next table gives the number of parts of distilled water to 10
parts of concentrated sulphuric acid (which has a specific gravity of
1.835) to prepare electrolyte of various specific gravities:

Specific Gravity Desired    Parts by Weight    Parts by Volume
------------------------    ---------------    ---------------
1.400                          8-1/2              15-8/10
1.300                          13-1/2             15-8/10
1.300                          13-1/2             25
1.280                          15                 27
1.270                          16                 28
1.260                          17                 30


New batteries are received (a) fully charged and ready for service,
(b) fully assembled with moistened plates and separators, but without
electrolyte, (c) in a "knockdown" condition, with dry plates and
without separators, (d) fully assembled with "bone dry" plates and
rubber separators, and without electrolyte.

Those received fully charged should be put on a car as soon as
possible. Otherwise they will grow old on the shelf. Every month on
the shelf is a month less of life. If the battery cannot be sold, put
it into dry-storage. Batteries received in condition (b) should not be
kept in stock for more than six months. Batteries received with dry
plates and without separators or with rubber separators may be stored
indefinitely without deteriorating.

Batteries Shipped Fully Charged, or "Wet." All Makes.

Unpack the battery, keeping the packing case right side up to avoid
spilling electrolyte.

Brush off all excelsior and dirt, and examine the battery carefully to
see if it has been damaged during shipment. If any damage has been
done, claim should be made against the express or railroad company.

1. Remove the vent caps from the cells and determine the height of the
electrolyte. It should stand from three-eighths to one-half inch above
the tops of the plates. The level may be determined with a glass tube,
as shown in Fig. 30. If the electrolyte is below the tops of the
plates, it has either been spilled, or else there is a leaky jar. If
all cells have a low level of electrolyte, it is probable that the
electrolyte has been spilled.

2. Next measure the specific gravity of the electrolyte of each cell
with the hydrometer, and then add water to bring the electrolyte up to
the correct level, if this is necessary. Should the temperature of the
air be below freezing, charge the battery for an hour if water is
added no matter what the specific gravity readings are. This will
cause the water to mix thoroughly with the electrolyte. If the battery
were not charged after water is added, the water, being lighter than
the electrolyte, would remain on top and freeze. For this one hour
charge, use the "starting" rate, as stamped on the nameplate.

3. If the specific gravity of the electrolyte reads below 1.250,
charge the battery until the specific gravity reads between 1.280 and
1.300. For this charge use the normal bench charging rates.

4. After this charge place the battery on a clean, dry spot for
twenty-four hours as an extra test for a leaky jar. If there is any
dampness under the battery, or on the lower part of the battery case,
a leaky jar is indicated. An inspection of the level of the
electrolyte, which even though no dampness shows, will show the leaky

5. Just before putting the battery on the car, make the high rate
discharge test on it. See page 266.


Exide Batteries

Storing. 1. Keep the battery in a dry, clean place, and keep the room
temperature above 32 degrees, and below 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Put the battery into service before the expiration of the time
limit given on the tag attached to the battery. The process of putting
the battery into service will require about five days.

3. If the battery has been allowed to stand beyond the time limit,
open up one of the cells just before beginning the process necessary
to put the battery into service. If the separators are found to be
cracked, split, or warped, throw away all the separators from all the
cells and put in new ones. If the separators are in good condition,
reassemble the cell and put the battery into service.

Putting Battery into Service. 1. Fill the cells with electrolyte of
the correct specific gravity. To do this, remove the vent plugs and
pour in the electrolyte until it rises to the bottom of the vent
tubes. The correct specific gravities of the electrolyte to be used
are as follows:

(a) For Types DX, XC, XE, XX and XXV, use 1.360 electrolyte. In
tropical countries use 1.260 electrolyte.

(b) For Types LX, LXR, LXRE, LXRV, use 1.340 electrolyte. In tropical
countries use 1.260 electrolyte.

(c) For Types MHA and PHC, use 1.320 electrolyte. In tropical
countries use 1.260 electrolyte.

(d) For Types KXD and KZ, use 1.300 electrolyte. In tropical countries
use 1.240 electrolyte.

2. After filling with the electrolyte, allow the battery to stand ten
to fifteen hours before starting the initial charge. This gives the
electrolyte time to cool.

3. No sooner than ten to fifteen hours after filling the battery with
electrolyte, add water to bring the electrolyte up to the bottom of
the vent tubes, if the level has fallen. Replace the vent caps and
turn them to the right.

Start charging at the rates shown in the following table. Continue
charging at this rate for at least 96 hours (4 days).

Table of Initial and Repair Charging Rates

Type and Size of Cell    Charging Rate, Amperes    Minimum Ampere Hours
---------------------    ----------------------    --------------------
KZ-3                     1/2                       50
LX-5, LXR-5, LXRE-5      1-1/2                     145
KXD-5                    2                         190
XC-9, XX-9               2-1/2                     240
DX-11, KXD-7, LXR-9,
LXRE-9, XC-11, XE-11     3                         290
DX-13, KXD-9, LXR-11,
XC-13, XE-13, XX-13      4                         385
LXR-13, LXRE-13, XC-15,
XE-15, XX-15             4-1/2                     430
KXD-11, XC-17, XE-17     5                         480
LXRV-15, LXR-15, LXRE-15 5-1/2                     525
LX-17, LXR-17, LXRE-17,
XC-19, XE-19, XXV-19     6                         575
MHA-11, PHC-13           6                         575
XC-21, XE-21             6-1/2                     625
XC-23                    7                         675
XC-25                    7-1/2                     720

4. Occasionally measure the temperature of the electrolyte. Do not
allow the temperature to rise above 110° Fahrenheit (120° Fahrenheit
in tropical countries). Should the temperature reach 110°, stop the
charge long enough to allow the temperature to drop below 100°.

5. At the end of the charge, the specific gravity of the electrolyte
should be between 1.280 and 1.300 (1.210 and 1.230 in tropical
countries). If it is not between these limits adjust it by drawing off
some of the electrolyte with the hydrometer and replacing with water
if the specific gravity is too high, or with electrolyte of the same
specific gravity used in filling the battery, if the specific gravity
is too low.

6. Wipe off the top and sides of the battery case with a rag dampened
with ammonia to neutralize any electrolyte which may have been spilled.

7. Just before putting the battery into service, give it a high rate
discharge test. See page 266.

Vesta Batteries

1. Remove vent caps from each cell and fill with electrolyte of 1.300
specific gravity. This electrolyte should not have a temperature
greater than 75° Fahrenheit when added to the cells.

2. After the addition of this acid, the battery will begin to heat and
it should be left standing from 12 to 24 hours or until it has cooled

3. Battery should then be put on charge at the finish charging rate
stamped on the name plate. Continue charging at this rate for
approximately 48 to 72 hours or until the gravity and voltage readings
of each cell stop rising.

4. Care should be taken to see that the temperature of battery does
not rise above 110° Fahrenheit. If this occurs., the charging rate
should be cut down.

5. The acid in each cell will undoubtedly have to be equalized.

6. At the finish of this developing charge the gravity should read
1.280 in each cell. If below this, equalize by putting in 1.400
specific gravity acid, or if the contrary is the case and the acid is
above 1.280 add sufficient distilled water until the gravity reads

7. After the acid has been equalized and it has stopped rising in
density the voltage of each cell while still on charge at the
finishing rate should read at least 2.5 volts per cell or better.

8. The battery is then ready for service. Just before putting battery
into service, make a high rate discharge test on it. See page 266.

Philadelphia Diamond Grid Batteries

1. Remove the vent plugs and immediately fill the cells With
electrolyte until the level is even with the bottom of the vent tube
in the cover. Do not fill with electrolyte whose temperature is above
90° Fahrenheit. The specific gravity of the electrolyte to be used in
starting batteries varies with the number of plates in each cell, the
correct values being as follows:

Charging Rates

Fill batteries listed in Table No. 1 with 1.270 sp. gr. acid.

TABLE--No. 1

No. of    LL-LLR
Plates    & LH      LM, LMR    LT, LTR    LS, LSR    LG    LT    LSF
------    ------    -------    -------    -------    ---   ---   ---
9         2.0       2.5        2.0        2.5        3.0
11        2.5       3.0        2.5        3.5        4.0
13        3.0       3.5        3.0        4.0                    2.5
15        3.5       4.0        3.5        4.5        5.5
17        4.0       5.0        4.0        5.5              6.0
19        4.5       5.5        4.5        6.0

Special Battery: 136 USA ... 6. 0 amps.


Fill batteries listed in Table No. 2 with 1.250 sp. gr. acid.

No.         LL-LLR   LM    LT    LS    S
of Plates   & LLH    LMR   LTR   LSR   SH   ST   LSF
---------   ------   ---   ---   ---   ---  ---  ---
5           1.0      1.0               2.0  1.5
7           1.5      1.5   1.5   2.0   3.0  2.0  1.5
9                                      4.0
11                                     5.0

Special Batteries: 330 AA .... 1.0 amps.
524 STD-H2 ................... 1.0 amps.
7 6 SPN ...................... 1.5 amps.

The number of plates per cell is; indicated in the first numeral of
the type name. For instance, 712 LLA-1 is a 7 plate LL. For all
lighting batteries, types S and ST. use 1.210 electrolyte.

2. Allow the battery to stand for one or two hours.

3. Remove the seal from the top of the vent caps, and open by blowing
through the cap.

4. Insert vent plugs in the vent tubes.

5. Put the battery on charge at the rate given in the table on page
228. To determine the rate to use, see type name given on the battery
nameplate and find correct rate in the table. Keep the battery
charging at this rate throughout the charge.

6. Continue the charge until the battery voltage and the specific
gravity of the electrolyte stop rising, as shown by readings taken
every four hours. From three and one-half to four days of continuous
charging will be required to fully charge the battery.

7. Watch the temperature of the electrolyte, and do not allow it to
rise above 110° Fahrenheit. If the temperature rises to 110° F., stop
the charge and allow battery to cool. Extend the time of charging by
the length of time required for the battery to cool.

8. After the specific gravity of the electrolyte stops rising, adjust
the electrolyte to a specific gravity of 1.280 at a temperature of 70°
Fahrenheit. If the temperature is not 70°, make temperature
corrections as described on page 65.

9. The battery is now ready to be installed on the car. Just before
installing the battery, make a high rate discharge test on it.

Willard Bone-Dry Batteries

A Willard Threaded Rubber insulated battery is shipped and carried in
stock "bone-dry." It is filled with electrolyte and charged for the
first time when being made ready for delivery.

Threaded Rubber Insulated Batteries received bone-dry must be prepared
for service, as follows:

1. Mix electrolyte to a density of 1.275.

2. Remove the vent plugs and fill to the top of the vent hole with
1.275 electrolyte. Be sure that the electrolyte is thoroughly mixed by
stirring and that its temperature is not above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. A portion of the solution will be absorbed by the plates and
insulation because they have been standing dry without any liquid in
the cells. The volume is thus decreased, necessitating the addition of
electrolyte after first filling.

Wait five minutes and then again fill to the top of the vent hole with
1.275 electrolyte.

4. The battery must now stand at least twelve hours and not more than
twenty-four hours before charging. After it has been filled an
increase in temperature of the battery solution will take place. This
is caused by the action of the acid in the solution penetrating the
plates mid reacting with the active material, but does no injury.
Since the acid in the solution joins the active material in the plates
the density of the solution becomes proportionately lower. This is to
be expected and should cause no concern.

In order that the entire plate volume of active material may be in
chemical action during charge, the battery should stand before being
placed on charge--until the solution has bad time to penetrate the
entire thickness of the plates. This requires at least twelve hours,
but not more than twenty-four hours.

5. Just before charging the battery, again fill with 1.275 electrolyte
to 3/8 inch over the top of the separators. After this, do not add
anything but distilled water to the battery solution.

6. The battery should then be put on charge at the finish rate until
the gravity stops rising. At the end of this period the specific
gravity should be between 1.280 and 1.300. It may take from 36 to 72
hours before this density is reached.

Care should be taken not to prolong the charging unduly, for that may
cause active material to fall out of the grids, thus injuring the
plates beyond repair.

7. Because of the evaporation of water in the solution during the
charging process, it is necessary to add distilled water from time to
time in order to keep the solution above the tops of the separators.

The temperature of the battery while on charge should never exceed 110
degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature rises above this point the
charging must be discontinued for a time or the rate decreased.

If at any time during the initial charging the density rises above
1.300 some of the solution should immediately be drawn off with a
syringe and distilled water added. This must be done as often as is
necessary to keep the density below 1.300.

If the specific gravity does not change after two successive readings
and does not then read within the limits of 1.280 to 1.300 it should
be adjusted to read correctly. If the reading is less than 1.280 it
should be adjusted by drawing off as much solution as can be taken out
with a syringe and electrolyte of 1.400 specific gravity added. The
battery must then be placed on charge for at least four hours and
another reading taken. If it is again found to be less than 1.280 this
operation should be repeated as many times as necessary to bring the
density up to 1.280.

9. The height of solution when taking the battery off charge should be
5/8 of an inch above the top of the separators. After the battery has
been off charge long enough to permit the solution to cool to normal
temperature, draw off the excess to a final height of 3/8 inch above
separators. Replace the vent plugs and battery is ready for service.

Unfilled Willard Wood Insulated Batteries

Unfilled, wood-insulated batteries have not had an initial charge and
require a treatment similar to batteries with threaded rubber
insulation. When shipment is made in this manner, such batteries
should be placed in service before the date indicated on the tag
attached to the battery.

To prepare such a battery for service:

1. Remove the vent plugs and fill each cell with 1.335 specific
gravity electrolyte (one part of concentrated sulphuric acid by volume
to two parts of distilled water by volume) to 3/8 inch above the tops
of the separators.

2. Wait 5 minutes and then fill each cell again with 1.335 specific
gravity electrolyte to 3/8 inch above the tops of the separators.

3. The battery must then stand from 10 to 15 hours before placing on

4. After standing for this length of time, fill each cell again, if
necessary, with 1.335 specific gravity electrolyte to bring the level
of the electrolyte 3/8 inch above the tops of the separators before

5. Place the battery on charge at the finish rate marked on the name
plate until the gravity and cell voltage stop rising. This charging
will require at least 48 hours.

6. If, after a charge of 48 hours or longer the specific gravity does
not rise for two consecutive hours, the gravity should be between
1.280 and 1.300. If it is not between these limits, the specific
gravity should be adjusted to these values at the end of the charge.

7. If, during the charge, the temperature exceeds 110 degrees
Fahrenheit, the charge rate should be reduced so as to keep the
temperature below 110 degrees Fahrenheit and the time of charging
lengthened proportionately.

Preparing Westinghouse Batteries for Service

(These batteries are prepared for shipment in what is known as export

1. Remove vent plugs and discard soft rubber caps.

2. Fill all cells with 1.300 specific gravity sulphuric acid until top
of connecting straps, as seen through vent holes are completely
covered. Temperature of filling acid should never be above 90 degrees

Note: The aim is to fill the cells with acid of such a Specific
gravity that the electrolyte, at the end of charge, will need very
little adjusting to bring it to the proper specific gravity.

1.300 specific gravity acid has been found to be approximately correct
for this purpose. However, if after several batteries have been
prepared for service using 1.300 specific gravity acid, considerable
adjusting at the end of charge is necessary, it is permissible to use
a slightly different specific gravity of filling acid, but the use of
acid above 1.325 specific gravity or below 1,250 specific gravity is
not recommended.

3. Allow batteries to stand after filling for from two to three hours
before putting on charge.

4. Put on charge at finish charge rate shown on name plate of battery.

Note: If temperature of electrolyte in battery reaches 100 degrees
Fahrenheit (determined by inserting special thermometer through vent
hole in cover), the charging rate should be immediately reduced, as
continued charging at a temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit is
injurious to both separators and plates.

5. Continue charging until all cells are gassing freely and individual
cell voltage and specific gravity of electrolyte have shown no
decided rise for a period of five hours.

Note: The length of time required to completely charge a new battery
depends largely upon the time the battery has been in stock, varying
from twelve to twenty-four hours for a comparatively fresh battery to
four or five days for a battery six months or more old.

6. Keep level of electrolyte above tops of separators at all times,
while charging by adding distilled water to replace that lost by

7. After battery is completely charged the specific gravity of
electrolyte in all cells should be adjusted to 1.285 at 70 degrees
Fahrenheit, and the level of electrolyte adjusted so that after
battery is taken off charge the height of electrolyte stands 1/8 inch
above tops of connecting straps.

Note: Corrections for temperature if temperature of electrolyte is
above or below 70 degrees Fahrenheit the correction is one point of
gravity for each three degrees of temperature. See page 65.

If specific gravity of electrolyte is above 1.285, a portion of the
electrolyte should be removed and replaced with distilled water.

If the specific gravity is below 1.285, a portion of electrolyte
should be removed and replaced with 1.400 specific gravity sulphuric
acid. Acid of higher gravity than 1.400 should never be put in

Batteries should always be charged for several hours after adjusting
gravity to insure proper mixing of the electrolyte and to see that the
correct specific gravity of 1.285 has been obtained.

8. After first seven sections have been followed examine vent plugs to
see that gas passage is Dot obstructed and screw back in place.
Battery is now ready for service.

The Prest-O-Lite Assembled Green Seal Battery

This type of battery is made up of the same sort of plates as the old
partly assembled green seal battery. The elements are, however,
completely assembled will wood separators and sealed in the jars and
box in the same manner as a wet battery to be put into immediate
service; the cell connectors are burned in place.

How to Store It. A room of ordinary humidity, one in which the air is
never dryer for any reason than the average, should be used to store
these batteries. They should be shielded from direct sunlight.

Examine the vents-they should be securely inserted and remain so
during the entire storage period.

If these precautions are observed, this type battery may be stored for
at least a year.

To Prepare Battery for Use. 1. Prepare sufficient pure electrolyte of
1.300 specific gravity. If during the mixing considerable heat is
evolved, allow electrolyte to cool down to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Never pour electrolyte, that is warmer than 90 degrees Fahrenheit,
into cells.

2. Remove the vents and lay them aside until the final charging
operation has been completed.

Within 15 minutes from the time the vents are removed fill all cells
to the bottom of vent openings with the electrolyte prepared, as
stated above.

3. Allow the electrolyte to remain in the cells, not less than one
hour. At the end of this time, should the electrolyte level fall below
the tops of the separators, add enough electrolyte to bring level at
least one-half inch above separators. If the temperature in the cells
does not rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, proceed immediately
(before two hours have elapsed) with the initial charging operation.
If the temperature remains above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, allow the
battery to stand until the electrolyte cools down to 100 degrees
Fahrenheit. Then proceed immediately with the charge. It is important
that the acid does not stand in the cells for more than two hours,
unless it is necessary to allow the acid to cool.

4. Initial Charging Operation. Place the battery on charge at the
ampere rate given in the following table. The total initial charge
must be for fifty-two hours, but at no time permit the electrolyte
temperature to rise above 115 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature
should reach 115 degrees Fahrenheit, take the battery off the line and
allow the electrolyte to cool, but be sure that the total of fifty-two
hours actual charging at the ampere rate specified is completed.

Initial Charge---52 Hours

Plates     Type of
per Cell   Plate
           AHS   WHN   RHN   SHC   BHN   JFN   GM   CLN   KPN
--------   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---  ---   ---
3                                              1.5
5          2     2     2.5   3
7          3     3     3.5   4           3                5
9          4     4     5     5                            7
11         5     5     6     7     7.5   5                9
13         6     6     7     8     9     6          10.5  10.5
15         7     7     9     9.5   10.5  7                12
17                     10    12          9
19         9     9     11    12          9

The nominal battery voltage and the number of plates per cell is
indicated by the Prest-O-Lite type designations, i. e.: 613 RHN
denotes 6 volts, 13 plates per cell or 127 SHC denotes 12 volts, 7
plates per cell.

5. The electrolyte density at the end of fifty-two hours charge should
be near 1.290 specific gravity. A variation between 1.285 and 1.300 is
permissible. If, after fifty hours of the initial charge, the
electrolyte density of any of the cells is outside these limits,
adjustment should be begun while still charging. For those cells in
which the density is higher than 1.300 specific gravity replace some
of the electrolyte with distilled water. In those cells where the
density is lighter than 1.285 specific gravity replace some of the
electrolyte with previously prepared electrolyte of 1.400 specific
gravity. Wait until the cells have charged one hour before taking
readings to determine the effect of adjustment, which, if not
accomplished, should be attempted again as before. Practice Will
enable the attendant to estimate the amount of electrolyte necessary
to replace in order to accomplish the proper density desired-at the
end of initial charge.

6. Following the completion of the fifty-two hour charge, if there is
time to do so, it is good practice to put the battery through a
development cycle, i. e., to discharge it at about the four-hour rate
and then put it on the charging line again at the normal rate until a
condition of full charge is again reached. The objects gained by this
discharge are:

(a) Further development of the plates.

(b) Adjustment or stabilization of the electrolyte.

(c) Checking the assembly by noting the failure of any cell or cells
to act uniformly and satisfactorily during discharge.

The four-hour discharge rate is, of course, like the normal rate of
Initial Charge, dependent upon the size and number of plates per cell
in any particular battery; the number of cells determines the voltage
only and has nothing to do with the battery's charge or discharging
rating. These four-hour discharge rates are as follows:

per Cell    Type of Plate
            AHS   WHN   RHN   SHC   BHN   JFN   GM   CLN   KPN
--------    ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   ---   --   ---   ---
3                                               3
5           5     5     5.5   6.5
7           7.5   7.5   8     10          7.5              13.5
9           10    10    11    13                           18
11          12.5  12.5  14    16    19    12.5             22.5
13          15    15    16.5  19.5  22.5  15         27    27
15          17.5  17.5  19    23    26    17.5             31.5
17                      22    26
19          22.5  22.5  25    29          22.5

Immediately at the end of the four-hour discharge, put the battery on
the line and charge it at the normal rate prescribed in the Initial
Charge rate table until a state of complete charge, as noted by cell
voltage and gravity is reached. This charging time should be about
sixteen hours.

Any adjustments of electrolyte found necessary at the end of this
charging period in the same manner prescribed in paragraph No. 5, for
such adjustments made just before the completion of the initial
fifty-two hour charge.

(TRANSCRIBER'S NOTE: No item number 7. in original publication.)

8. At the end of the fifty-two hour charge, or, if the Development
discharge has been given, at the end of the Development Cycle Charge,
replace the vent plugs, wash all exterior surfaces with clean water
and dry quickly. The battery is then ready for service.


A battery must be installed carefully on the car if it is to have any
chance to give good service. Careless installation of a battery which
is in good working order will invariably lead to trouble in a very
short time. On the other hand, a properly installed battery is, nine
times out of ten, a good working and long lived battery.

After you have removed the old battery, scrape all rust and corrosion
from the inside of the battery box or compartment in which the battery
is placed. This can best be done with a putty knife and wire brush. If
you find that electrolyte has been spilled in the box, pour a
saturated solution of baking soda on the parts affected so as to
neutralize the acid. Then wipe the inside of the box dry and paint it
with a good acid proof paint.

Next take out the hold down bolts. Clean them with a wire brush, and
oil the threads on the bolt and in the nut to make them work easily.
It is very important that this oiling be done, as the oil protects the
bolts from corrosion, and to remove the nuts from a corroded bolt is
an extremely difficult and aggravating piece of work, often resulting
in the bolts being broken. Should such bolts become loose while the
car is in use, it is hard to tighten them.

Wooden strips found in the battery box should be thoroughly cleaned
and scraped, and then painted with acid proof paint. When you lower
the battery into its box, lower it all the way gently. Do not lower it
within an inch or so of the bottom of the case and then drop it. This
will result in broken jars and plate lugs. Turn the hold downs tight,
but not so tight as to break the sealing compound at the ends of the
battery, thereby causing electrolyte to leak out, and battery to
become a "slopper".

Cables and connectors should be scraped bright with a knife and
brushed thoroughly with the wire brush to remove all corrosion. Old
tape which has become acid soaked should be removed and the cable or
wire underneath cleaned. Before applying new tape, take a small round
bristle brush and paint Vaseline liberally over the exposed cable
immediately back of the taper terminal. Then cover the Vaseline with
tape, which Should be run well back from the terminal. The Vaseline
prevents the corrosion of the cable and the tape holds the Vaseline in
place. After the tape has been applied, paint it with acid proof
paint. Cover the terminals of the battery with Vaseline. Cables must
have enough slack to prevent strains from being put on the battery

By following these directions, you will not only have a properly
installed battery, which will have a good chance to give good service,
but will have a neat looking job which is most pleasing to the eye of
the car owner.

Remove all dirt from the battery and cable terminals and thoroughly
clean the surfaces which are to connect together, but do not scrape
off the lead coating. Apply a heavy coating of pure Vaseline to these
surfaces and tighten the connection perfectly, squeezing out the
Vaseline. Then give the whole connection a heavy coating of Vaseline.
This is very important in order to prevent connection trouble.

If battery is installed in an enclosing box, be sure that none of the
ventilating holes are clogged.


When a battery is not in active use on a car it should be put into
storage. Storage is necessary:

1. When a car is to stand idle for a considerable period, such as is
the case when it is held for future delivery.

2. When a car is laid up for the winter.

3. When batteries are kept in stock.

Batteries may be stored "wet," i.e., completely assembled and filled
with electrolyte, or "dry," i.e., in a dry disassembled condition,
without electrolyte. In deciding whether a battery should be stored
"wet" or "dry," two things are to be considered, i.e. the length of
time the battery is to be in storage, and the condition of the
battery. If a battery is to be out of commission for a year or more,
it should be put into "dry" storage. If it is to be in storage for
less than one year, it may be put into "wet" storage if it is in a
good condition. If the condition of the battery is such that it will
need to be dismantled soon for repairs, it should be put into "dry"
storage, even though it is to be out of service for less than one year.

Batteries in "dry" storage require no attention while they are in
storage, but they must be dismantled before being put into storage and
reassembled when put back into service.

When a battery is brought in to be stored, note its general condition

(a) Its General Appearance-condition of case, handles, terminals,
sealing compound, and so on.

(b) Height and specific gravity of the electrolyte in each cell.

(c) Age of Battery. Question owner as to length of time he has had
battery. Read date marks on battery if there are any, or determine age
by the age code. See page 243. If a battery is less than a year old,
is in good condition, and is to be stored for less than one year, it
may be put into "wet" storage. If it is more than a year old, put it
into dry storage, unless it is in first class shape and is to be
stored for only several months.

After making your general observations, clean the battery, add
distilled water to bring the electrolyte up to the proper level, put
the battery on charge and keep it on the line until it is fully
charged. Watch for any abnormal condition during the charge, such as
excessive temperature rise, failure of voltage to come up, failure of
specific gravity to come up, and gassing before gravity becomes

If no abnormal conditions develop during the charge, put the battery
on discharge at a rate which will cause the voltage to drop to 1.7
volts per cell in about four hours. Measure the cell voltages at
regular intervals during the discharge test. If the voltage of any
cell drops much more rapidly than that of the other cells, that cell
is defective in some way, and should be opened for inspection. If the
voltage of all cells drops to 1.7 in three hours or less, the battery
should be put into dry storage.

After completing the discharge test, recharge it fully, no matter
whether it is to be put into wet or dry storage.

If no trouble developed during the charge or discharge, the battery
may be put into "wet" storage. If trouble did develop, the battery
should be put into "dry" storage.

If dry storage is found to be necessary the owner should be informed
that the condition of his battery would cause it to deteriorate in wet
storage and necessitate much more expensive repairs when put into use
again than will be necessary in the thorough overhauling and
rejuvenation of dry storage. He should be advised that dry storage
involves dismantling, drying out elements and reassembling with the
needed repairs and new separators in the Spring. Be sure that the
customer understands this. If it is evident that repairs or new parts,
involving costs additional to storage charges, will be necessary, tell
him so. Do not leave room for a complaint about costs in the Spring.

To avoid any misunderstanding, it is highly advisable to have the
customer put his signature on a STORAGE AGREEMENT which states fully
the terms under which the battery is accepted for storage. The storage
cost may be figured on a monthly basis, or a price for the entire
storage period may be agreed upon. The monthly rate should be the same
as the regular price for a single battery recharge. If a flat rate is
paid for the entire storage period, $2.00 to $3.00 is a fair price.

"Wet" Storage

1. Store the batteries on a bench or shelf in a convenient location
and large enough to allow a little air space around each battery.

2. Place each battery upon wooden strips in order to keep the bottom
of the battery clear of the bench or shelf.

3. Apply Vaseline freely to the battery terminals, and to exposed
copper wires in the battery cables if the cables are burned directly
to the battery terminals. If the cables are not burned on, remove them
from the battery.

4. If convenient, install the necessary wiring, switches, etc., so
that batteries may be connected up and charged where they stand.
Otherwise the batteries must be charged occasionally oil the charging

  [Fig. 151 Batteries connected for trickle charge]

5. Batteries in wet storage may be charged by the Exide "Trickle"
charge method, or may be given a bench charge at regular intervals.

6. Bench Charge Method.--Once every month, add distilled water to
replace evaporation. Then give battery a bench charge. See page 198.
Before putting battery into service repeat this process and just
before putting the battery into service, make the high rate discharge
test on it. See page 266.

7. Trickle Charge Method.--This consists of charging the batteries in
storage continuously at a very low rate, which is so low that no
gassing occurs, and still gives enough charge to maintain the
batteries in good condition. In many cases the "Trickle" Charge method
will be found more convenient than the bench charge method, and it has
the advantage of keeping the batteries in condition for putting into
service on short notice. It should, however, be used only where direct
current lighting circuits are available.

In the "Trickle" method, the batteries are first given a complete
bench charge, and are then connected in series across a charging
circuit with one or several incandescent lamps in series with the
batteries to limit the current. In Fig. 151, an example of connections
for a "Trickle" charge is given. The charging current for different
sized batteries varies from 0.05 to 0.15 ampere. The following table
gives the lamps required to give the desired current on 110 volt

In each case, the lamps are connected in series with the batteries.
The "2-25 watt, (lamps), in parallel" listed in the table are to be
connected in parallel with each other and then in series with the
batteries. The same is true of the "3-25 watt (lamps), in series"
listed in the table.

Series on 115 Volt Line

Amp. Hours                    No. of Cells     No. 115 Volt
Capacity       Amperes        in Series        Lamps Required
5 Amp. Rate    Approximate    on Line          115 Volt
-----------    -----------    ------------     --------------
50 or less        0.05        3                5-15 watt, in series
50 or less        0.05        30               2-15 watt, in series
50 or less        0.05        45               1-15 watt, in series
50-100            0.10        3                3-25 watt, in series
50-100            0.10        3                1-25 watt, in series
50-100            0.10        45               2-25 watt, in parallel
100 or over       0.15        3                2-25 watt, in series
100 or over       0.15        30               1-25 watt, in series
100 or over       0.15        45               3-25 watt, in parallel

Every two months interrupt the trickle charge long enough to add water
to bring the electrolyte up to the proper level. When this has been
done, continue the trickle charge.

Before putting the batteries into service, see that the electrolyte is
up to the correct level, and that the specific gravity of the
electrolyte is 1.280-1.300. If necessary, give a short charge on the
charging bench to bring the specific gravity up to the correct value.

Dry Storage

1. Give the battery a complete charge. Pour out the electrolyte, and
separate the groups. If the negatives have bulged active material,
press them in the plate press. In batteries such as the Prest-OLite in
which it is difficult to remove the plates from the cover, the groups
need not be separated unless the negatives have badly bulged active
material. It may not be necessary to separate the groups even then,
provided that the positives are not buckled to any noticeable extent.
If only a very slight amount of buckling exists, the entire element
may be pressed by putting thin boards between the plates in place of
the separators.

2. Immerse the negatives in distilled water for ten to twelve hours.
If positives and negatives cannot be separated, wash each complete
element in a gentle stream of water.

3. Remove plates from water and allow them to drain thoroughly and
dry. The negatives will heat up when exposed to the air, and when they
do so they should be immersed in the water again to cool them. Repeat
this as long as they tend to heat up. Then allow them to dry

4. Throw away the old separators. Rubber separators may be saved if in
good condition. Clean the covers and terminals., wash out the jars,
and turn the case up side down to drain out the water. Examine the box
carefully. It is advisable to wash with a solution of baking soda,
rinsing the water in order to neutralize as far as possible the action
of acid remaining on the box. If this is not done, the acid may start
decomposition of the box while in storage, in which case the owner of
the battery may insist on its renewal before acceptance at the end of
the storage period.

5. When, the plates are perfectly dry, nest the positives and
negatives together, using dry cardboard instead of separators, and
replace them in the jars in their proper positions.

6. Replace the covers and vent plugs, but, of course, do not use any
sealing compound on them.

7. Tie the terminals and top connectors to the handle on the case with
a wire.

8. Tag the battery with the owner's name and address, using the tag on
which you made the sketch of the arrangement of the terminals and top

9. Store the battery in a dry place, free from dust, until called for.

10. When the battery is to be put into service again, put in new
separators, put the elements in the jars, seal the covers, and burn on
the top connectors and terminals (if these are of the burned-on type).
Fill the cells with electrolyte of about 1.310 specific gravity and
allow the battery to stand for ten to twelve hours in order to cool.
Then put the battery on charge at one-half the normal charging rate
and charge until the specific gravity of the electrolyte stops rising
and remains stationary for five hours. The total time required for
this development charge will be about four days. Watch the temperature
of the electrolyte carefully, and if it should rise to 110°
Fahrenheit, stop the charge until it cools.

11. The specific gravity will fall during the first part of the
charge, due to the new separators; at the end of the charge, the
specific gravity should be 1.280-1.300. If it is not within these
limits, adjust it by withdrawing some electrolyte with the hydrometer
and adding water if the gravity is high, or 1.400 electrolyte if the
gravity is low.

12. Clean the case thoroughly and give it a coat of asphaltum paint.

13. Just before putting the battery into service, give it a high rate
discharge test. See page 266.


Battery manufacturers use codes to indicate the age of their
batteries. These codes consist of letters, figures, or combinations of
letters and figures, which are stamped on the inter-cell connectors or
on the nameplate. The codes may also be burned on the case.

The codes of the leading makes of batteries follow. In addition to
determining the age of a battery by means of the code, the owner
should be questioned as to the time the battery was installed on his
car. If the battery is the original one which came with the car, the
dealer's or car manufacturer's records will help determine the
battery's age. If a new battery has been installed to replace the one
that came with the car, the battery distributor's records will help
determine the age of the battery.

Familiarity with the different makes and types of battery will also
help in determining a battery's age. Manufacturers make improvements
in the construction of their batteries from time to time, and by
keeping up-to-date on battery constructions, it is often possible to
approximate the age of a battery by such changes.

If a battery was kept "dry" while in stock, its age should be figured
from the time it was prepared for service and placed on the car, since
batteries in dry storage do not deteriorate. Some batteries are
shipped from the factory "wet," i.e., filled with electrolyte and
fully charged and the age of such batteries should be figured from the
time they were shipped from the factory, because deterioration begins
as soon as a battery is filled with electrolyte. When batteries are
"dry" no chemical action can take place, and the battery does not
deteriorate, while in a "wet" battery, chemical action takes place
which gradually causes a battery to deteriorate.

Exide Age Code.

Since October, 1917, the date of shipment of Exide batteries from the
factory, or from Exide Deposts has been stamped on the top of the
first inter-cell connector from the negative end of the batter instead
of on the nameplate figures are used to indicate the dates, as

  [Image: Exide and Philadelphia battery age code charts]

All Philadelphia batteries shipped prior to April 1, 1920 and all
batteries shipped from depot stock after this date carry double letter
branding. The first battery is the factory date and the second letter
in this code indicates latest month during which the guarantee may

Batteries sold direct from Philadelphia to all classes of customers
after April 1, 1920, carry the single letter branding code, indicating
month of manufacture.

The letters used in the double letter age code are selected from the
table given above, and the second letter is the important one, since
it gives the latest date from which adjustment can be made. If a
Philadelphia battery with a double letter age code comes in,
therefore, the foregoing table should be consulted in determining the
age of the battery.

If a Philadelphia battery with a single letter age code comes in, the
following table should be consulted in determining the age of the

  [Image: Single Letter Philadelphia Batteries Age Code Chart]

Prest-O-Lite Age Code.

All Prest-O-Lite batteries carry a date letter stamped on the
cell-connectors. This letter indicates the month and year in which the
battery was manufactured. The letter is preceeded by a number which
represents the factory at which the battery was built.

Prest-O-Lite Factory Marks.

  Indianapolis--50    Cleveland--7    San Francisco--23

For example: "50-K" indicates that the battery was manufactured at
Indianopolis in January, 1920.

In addition to the above, each "Wet" Prest-O-Lite battery is branded
in the side with a date, as "9-19," indicating October, 1919. This
date is really sixty days ahead of the actual building date, to allow
time for shipping, etc., before the guarentee starts. The branded
"9-19" was actually built in August, 1919.

Titan Age Code.

The age of Titan batteries is indicated by a number stamped on one of
the inter-cell connectors, this number indicating the month the
battery was hipped from the factory.

  [Image: Age code charts for Titan batteries]

  [Image: Age code charts for U.S.L., and Vesta batteries]

  [Image: Age code charts for Westinghouse and Willard batteries]


Rental batteries are those which are put on a customer's car while his
own is being repaired or recharged. They are usually rebuilt batteries
turned in when a new battery is bought. They may also be made of the
good parts of batteries which are junked. By carefully saving good
parts, such as plates, jars, covers, and cases, a stock of parts will
gradually be acquired from which rental batteries may be made. Rental
batteries may also be bought from the battery manufacturers.

A supply of rental batteries should, of course, be kept ready to go
out at any time. The number of such batteries depends upon the size of
the business. 25 batteries for each 1000 cars in the territory served
is a good average. Do not have too many rental batteries of the same
type. Many of them will be idle most of the time and thus will not
bring in any money. Rentals should be made to fit those makes of cars
of which there are the greatest number in the territory served by the
repair shop. Sufficient parts should be kept on hand to make up other
rentals on short notice.

Terminals for Rental Batteries

There are several combination terminals on the market which allow
rental batteries equipped with them to be easily connected to several
of the various types of cable terminals that are in use. Yet it is a
universal experience for the average service station always to have
calls for rental batteries with just the type of terminals which are
not on hand. When the station has many batteries with the clamp type
straight posts the call always seems to be for the taper plug type and
vice versa.

  [Fig. 152 Best type of connection to be used whenever possible]

Most of us will agree that the clamp type post terminal is the cause
of much trouble. It is almost impossible to prevent corrosion at the
positive post and many a car owner has found that this has been his
trouble when his lights burn all right but the battery seemingly does
not have power enough to turn over the engine and yet every cell tests
1.280. Service Station men should not scrape and clean up a corroded
clamp type terminal and put it back on again, but should cut it off
and put on either a taper plug or, preferably, a lead-plated copper
terminal lug. Of course either of these terminal connections
necessitates changing the battery terminals to correspond.

For rental batteries it will be found that short cable terminals with
lead-plated copper lugs at the end will enable a battery man to
connect most any type of cable terminal on any car. It is true that
such connections must be taped up, but the prompt service rendered
more than offsets a little tape. Figures 152 to 158 illustrate how
these connections can be made to the taper plug and clamp types which
are used on most cars.

  [Fig. 153 Method of connecting rental battery with cable
   terminals to car with taper plug]

  [Fig. 154 Another method of connecting copper terminal
   lug to clamp terminal on car]

  [Fig. 155 Method of connecting rental batteries with
   cable terminals to cars with clamp type terminals]

Fig. 155. Showing method of connecting rental batteries with cable
terminals, to cars with clamp type terminals. In Fig. 155 the cable
insulation is stripped for a space of an inch and the strands are
equally divided with an awl. A bolt is passed through the opening and
a washer and nut complete the connection.

  [Fig. 156 and Fig. 157 Two methods of connecting a clamp type
   terminal to taper plug terminals]

Two methods of connecting a clamp type terminal to taper plug
terminals. In Fig. 156 a taper plug is inserted and screwed tight. The
projecting part of the plug has been turned down to fit the clamp type
terminal which is clamped to it. In Fig. 157 a bolt is passed through
and the clamp type terminal tightened to the plug type terminal with a
washer and nut.

  [Fig. 158 Lead plated copper terminal lug]

Fig. 158 shows a simple means of putting on a lead-plated copper
terminal lug without solder. These lugs should be soldered on whenever
possible, but it is often a difficult job to put one on in the
confined space of some battery compartments. In such places, a quick
and lasting job can be made with a band vise and a short piece of
round iron. This latter is laid across the lug and the vise screwed
up, making a crimp across the lug which firmly grips down upon the
bared cable strands that have been inserted into the lug.

New batteries sold to replace other batteries should be installed with
cable connections, as illustrated in Figure 152. This method of
connecting a battery is superior to any other method and will never
cause trouble. It will usually be found that the old taper plugs or
clamp terminals that have been in use have started to corrode and that
a new battery works increasingly at a disadvantage from the day it is
installed until the corrosion becomes so great that the car cannot be
started and then the customer kicks about his new battery. The best
connection possible will pay handsome dividends to all concerned, in
the end.

Marking Rental Batteries. Rental batteries should be marked in a
mariner which enables them to be recognized quickly. Painting the
cases a red color is a good way. The service station's name should
appear somewhere on the battery. A good plan is to have a lead tag,
which is attached to the handle at the negative end of the battery, or
is tacked to the case. The name may also be painted on the case. Each
battery should be given a number which should preferably be painted in
large white figures on the end or side of each case. The number may
also be stamped on a lead tag tied to the handle at the negative end.

A service station which sells a certain make of battery should not use
cases of some other make if the name of the other make appears on the
case. Such names may give a wrong impression to the customer, which
will not be fair either to the service station or to the manufacturer
whose name appears on the case. If the service station sells, another
make of battery, the customer may get the impression that the service
station man does not have enough confidence in the make which he
sells, and must use some other make for his rentals. If the rental
battery does not give good service, the customer will get the
impression that the manufacturer whose name appears on the case does
not turn out good batteries, when as a matter of fact, the plates,
covers, jars, and other parts used in the rental battery may not have
been made by this manufacturer. Some battery men would, perhaps,
consider the failure of a rental battery as an opportunity to "knock"
the manufacturer whose name appears on the case. Such an action may
have the desired effect on a very few customers, but the great
majority of men have no use for any one who "knocks" a competitor's

Keeping a Record of Rental Batteries. A careful record should be kept
of all rental batteries. The more carefully such a record is kept, the
less confusion there will be in knowing just where every rental
battery is. A special rack for rental batteries, such as those shown
in Figures 88 and 89 should be provided, and all rental batteries
which are in the shop should be kept there, except when they are on
charge or are being overhauled. Have them fully charged and ready to
go out immediately, without keeping a customer waiting around, when he
is in a hurry to go somewhere else.

General Rental Policy. No service station should make a practice of
installing rental batteries on any car unless the owner leaves his own
battery to be repaired or recharged. The purpose of having a stock of
rental batteries is to enable customers to have the use of their cars
while their own batteries are being repaired by the battery man who
furnishes the rental battery and not to furnish batteries to car
owners who may be taking their batteries to some other station to be
repaired. It is, of course, a good thing to be generous and
accommodating, but every battery repairman should think of his own
business first, before he helps build up the business of a competitor.

The customer must have some inducement to bring in your rental battery
and get his own. A rental charge of 25 cents-per day serves as a
reminder to most customers. However, some customers are forgetful and
the battery man must telephone or write to any owner who fails to call
for his battery. If, due to failure to keep after the owner, a rental
battery is out for several weeks, there is likely to be an argument
when the rental bill is presented to the owner. If the delay in
calling in a rental battery is due to failure to repair the customer's
battery, the rental charge should be reduced.

A rental battery should not be put in place of a battery which is
almost ready for the junk pile. The thing to do is to sell the
customer a new battery. Repairs on an almost worn out battery are
expensive and the results may not be satisfactory.


The wide-awake battery man will not overlook the new and rapidly
growing field which has been opened for him by the installation of
hundreds of thousands of radio-phone receiving sets in all parts of
the country. The so-called radio "craze" has affected every state, and
every battery repairman can increase his income to a considerable
extent by selling, charging, and repairing radio storage batteries.

The remarkable growth of the radio-phone has, of course, been due to
the radio broadcasting stations which have been established in all
parts of the country, and from which concerts, speeches, market
reports, baseball reports, news reports, children's stories and
religious services are sent out. These broadcasting stations have
sending ranges as high as 1,000 miles. The fact that a service station
is not located near a broadcasting station is therefore no reason why
it should not have its share of the radio battery business, because
the broadcasting stations are scattered all over the United States,
and receiving sets may be made powerful enough to "pick up" the waves
from at least one of the broadcasting stations.

Radio receiving sets may be divided into two general classes, the
"Crystal" sets and the "Bulb" sets. "Crystal" sets use crystals of
galena (lead sulphide), silicon (a crystalline form of silicon, one of
the chemical elements), or carborundum (carbide of silicon) to
"detect" or, in other words, to rectify the incoming radio waves so
that they may be translated into sound by the telephone receivers.
Receiving sets using these crystals do not use a battery, but these
sets are not very sensitive, and cannot "pick up" weak waves. This
means that crystal receiving sets must be used near the broadcasting
stations, before the waves have been weakened by traveling any
considerable distance.

As a general rule, the radio-listener's first receiving set uses a
crystal detector. Very often it is difficult to obtain good results
with such a set, and a more elaborate set is obtained. Moreover, even
if a crystal set does give good results, the owner of such a set soon
hears of friends who are able to hear concerts sent out from distance
stations. This gives him the desire to be able to hear such stations
also and he then buys a receiving set which uses the "audion-bulb" for
detecting, or rectifying the incoming waves.

The audion-bulb resembles an ordinary incandescent lamp. It contains
three elements:

1. In the center of the bulb is a short tungsten filament, the ends of
which are brought out to two terminals in the base of the bulb. This
filament must be heated to incandescence, and a storage battery is
required for this purpose, because it is necessary to have a very
steady current in order to obtain clear sounds in the receiver. Lately
plans have been suggested for using a direct current lighting line,
and even an alternating current lighting line for heating the
filament, but at present such plans have not been perfected, and the
battery will undoubtedly continue to be used with the majority of sets.

2. Surrounding the filament but not touching it is a helix of wire,
only one end of which is brought out to a terminal in the base of the
bulb. This helix is called the "grid." In some bulbs the grid is not
made in the form of a helix, but is made of two flat gridlike
structures, one on each side of the filament.

3. Surrounding the "grid" is the "plate" which is sometimes in the
shape of a hollow metallic cylinder. Some plates are not round, but
may be oval, or they may be two flat plates joined together at some
point, and one placed on either side of the grid. The plate has one
terminal in the base of the bulb.

  [Fig. 159 Illustrating the principle of the Audion Bulb]

The action of an audion-bulb is quite complex, but a simpler
explanation, though one which may not be exactly correct from a purely
technical point of view, is as follows, referring to Figure 159:

The "A" battery heats the filament, causing a stream of electrically
charged particles to flow out from the filament in all directions.
These electrons act as a conductor, and close the circuit which
consists of the plate, the "B" battery, and the telephone receivers,
one end of this circuit being connected to one side of the filament
circuit. Current then flows from the positive terminal of the "B"
battery to the plate, then to the filament by means of the stream of
electrons emitted by the filament, along one side of the filament,
through the wire connected to the positive terminal of the "A" battery
to the telephone receivers, through the receivers to the negative
terminal of the "B" battery.

As long as the filament remains lighted a steady current flows through
the above circuit. The "grid" is connected to the aerial wire to
intercept the radio waves. These waves produce varying electrical
charges on the grid. Since the stream of charged particles emitted by
the filament must pass through the grid to reach the plate, the
charges which the radio waves produce on the grid strengthen or weaken
the stream of electrons emitted by the filament, and thus vary the
current flowing in the telephone receiver circuit. The changes in this
current cause the receiver diaphragm to vibrate, the vibrations
causing sounds to be heard. Since the variation in the telephone
receiver circuit is caused by electrical charges produced by the radio
waves, and since the radio waves change according to the sounds made
at the transmitting station, the variations in the telephone receiver
current produces the same sounds that are sent out at the transmitting
station. In this way concerts, speeches, etc., are reproduced in the

The modern radio receiving set includes various devices, such as
variable condensers, variocouplers, loose-couplers, variometers, the
purpose of which is to "tune" or adjust the receiving set to be
capable of receiving the radio waves. An explanation of such devices
is not within the scope of this book, but there are numerous
reasonably priced books and pamphlets on the market which describes in
a simple manner all the component parts of a radio-receiving set.

From the foregoing remarks it is seen that a six-volt storage battery
is required with each receiving set which uses the audionbulb type
detector. The filament current of an audion-bulb averages about one
ampere. If additional bulbs are used to obtain louder sounds, each
such bulb also draws one ampere from the storage battery. The standard
audion-bulb receiving set does not use more than three bulbs, and
hence the maximum current drawn from the battery does not exceed three

The automobile battery manufacturers have built special radio
batteries which have thick plates and thick separators to give longer
life. The thick plates are much stronger and more durable than the
thin plates used in starting and lighting work, but do not have the
heavy current capacity that the starting and lighting battery plates
have. A high current capacity is, of course, not necessary for radio
work, and hence thick plates are used.

Batteries used for radio work do not operate under the severe
conditions which exist on automobiles, and trouble is much less likely
to develop. However, the owner of the radio set rarely has any means
of keeping his battery charged, and his battery gradually discharges
and must then be recharged. It is in the sale of batteries for radio
work and in the recharging of them that the battery man can "cash-in"
on the radio phone "craze."

This business rightfully belongs to the automobile battery man and he
should go after it as hard as he can. A little advertising by the
service station man, stating that he sells radio batteries, and also
recharges them should bring in: very profitable business. The battery
man who calls for and delivers the radio batteries which need
recharging and leaves rental batteries in their place so that there is
no interruption in the reception of the evening concerts is the one
who will get the business.

As already stated, radio storage batteries have thick plates and thick
separators. Perforated rubber sheets are also used in addition to the
separators. Large sediment spaces are also generally provided to allow
a considerable amount of sediment to accumulate without causing
short-circuits. The cases are made of wood or hard rubber. Since radio
batteries are used in homes and are, therefore, used with handsomely
finished cabinets containing the radio apparatus, the manufacturers
give the cases of some of their radio batteries a pleasing varnished
or mahogany finish. Before returning radio batteries which have been
recharged, the entire batteries should be cleaned and the cases
polished. Returning radio batteries in a dirty condition, when they
were received clean, and polished, will drive the radio recharging
business to some other service station.


The Vesta Battery Corporation manufacturers three special types of "A"
batteries for radio work, as follows:

1. The 6EA battery, made in capacities of 60, 80, and 100 ampere
hours. Fig. 160.

2. The V6EA7 battery, having a capacity of 80 ampere hours. Fig. 161.

3. The R6EA battery, having a capacity of 100 ampere hours. Fig. 162.

  [Fig. 160, 161, 162, 163 Various Vesta Radio batteries]

Vesta Radio Batteries. Fig. 160 shows the 6EA Series, "A" Battery.
Fig. 161 shows the V6EA Series, "A" Battery. Fig. 162 shows the R6EA
(Rubber Case) Series, "A" Battery. Fig. 163 shows the "B" Battery.

These batteries have 5, 7, 9 plates per cell, respectively. The plates
are each 5 inches high, 5 7/8 inches wide, and 5/32 inches thick. The
cases for these batteries are furnished in three designs--plain black
boxes (all sizes), finished maple boxes (7 plate size only), and hard
rubber boxes (9 plate size only). These Vesta batteries are the "A"
batteries used for heating the filaments of the audion bulbs. The
Vesta Radio "B" battery, Fig. 163, is a 12 cell, 24 volt battery, with
a 22 and a 20 volt tap.


  [Fig. 164 Exide Radio "A" battery]

The Exide Radio "A" battery, Fig. 164, is made in four sizes, the
capacities ranging from 20 to 120 ampere-hours. The design and
construction of these batteries are similar to the Exide starting
batteries. The over-all height of these batteries is approximately
95/8 inches, the width 7-5/16 inches, while the length varies with the
number of the plates.

Type       Cat. No.      Length      Weight         Capacity
--------   --------      ------      ------         --------
3-LXL-3    13735         4-9/16      15-1/2 lbs.    20 amp. hrs.
3-LXL-5    13736         5-11/16     24-1/2 lbs.    40 amp. hrs.
3-LXL-9    13737         9-1/16      42-1/2 lbs.    80 amp. hrs.
3-LXL-13   13750         12-7/16     59-1/2 lbs.    120 amp. hrs.


The Willard Storage Battery Co. manufactures both "A" and "B" storage
batteries. The Willard "A" battery, Fig. 165, is an all-rubber
battery. The case is a rubber "Monobloc" construction, that is, the
entire case is pressed into shape at one time. There are no separate
jars for the cells, there being rubber partitions which form integral
parts of the case. The case is, therefore, really a solid, one piece,
three compartment jar. The ribs at the bottoms of the compartments are
parts of the one-piece block, and are higher than those found in the
usual starting and lighting battery. Embedded in each side wall of the
case is a bronze button which holds the handle in place. Soft rubber
gaskets of pure gum rubber surround the post to make an acid proof
seal to prevent electrolyte from seeping from the cells. The
separators are the standard Willard "Threaded Rubber" separators.

  [Fig. 165, 166, and 167 Various Willard Radio Batteries]

Willard Radio Batteries. Fig. 165 shows the All-Rubber "A" Battery.
Fig. 166 shows the complete "B" Battery. Fig. 167 shows one cell of
the "B" Battery.

The Willard "A" battery comes in five sizes, type WRR97 (20 ampere
hours capacity), type WRRO (50 ampere hours capacity), type WRR1 (89
ampere hours capacity), type WRR2 (100 ampere hours capacity), and
type WRR3 (125 ampere hours capacity).

The Willard "B" storage battery, type CBR124, Figs. 166 and 167, is a
twelve cell battery, each cell consisting of a round glass container
having one negative and one positive plate insulated from each other
by a small "Threaded Rubber" separator. The plates and separators rest
on a hard rubber "bottom rest" which consists of a short length of
hard rubber tube, so formed as to support the plates and separators
and at the same time hold them together. The cells are assembled in a
case which has a separate compartment for each cell. As seen from Fig,
166, the upper parts of the cells project above the top of the case,
which simplifies inspection.


  [Fig. 168 Westinghouse Radio "A" battery, Type HR]

  [Fig. 169 Westinghouse Radio "B" battery, Type L, and
   Fig. 170 Westinghouse Radio "B" battery, Type M]

The Westinghouse Union Battery Co. manufactures both "A" and "B"
storage batteries. Their "ER" type, Fig. 168, is the "A" battery, and
their "L" and "M" types, Figs. 169 and 170, are the "B" batteries. The
HR battery has 3/16 inch thick plates, high rests to provide ample mud
and acid space, and thick separators. Rubber sheets are placed on both
sides of the positive plates. Rubber covered cables are moulded into
the terminals to minimize corrosion at the positive terminal. The "HR"
batteries are made in six and eight volt sizes, with 3 plates per
cell, 5 plates per cell, 9 plates per cell, and 13 plates per cell.

The Westinghouse Radio "B" batteries are made in two sizes. Type
22-M-2, Fig. 170, has a capacity of 1.2 ampere hours at 0.04 ampere.
It is designed to operate a receiving set having one detector and two
amplifier bulbs for three to five weeks between charges. The type
22-L-2 battery, Fig. 169, has a capacity of 4.5 ampere hours at 0.25

Part No.   Type     Volts    Amp. Hours at 3 Amps.     Weight
                             Intermittent Rate
--------  ----     -----    ---------------------     ------
100110     6-HR-5    6        54 A.H.                  30 Lbs.
100111     6-HR-9    6       108 A.H.                  46 Lbs.
100112     6-HR-13   6       162 A.H.                  65 Lbs.
100135     8-HR-5    8        54 A.H.                  40 Lbs.
100136     8-HR-9    8       108 A.H.                  60 Lbs.
100137     8-HR-13   8       162 A.H.                  87 Lbs.
100145     6-HR-3    6        27 A.H.                  20 Lbs.

Part No.  Type      Volts     Capacity                Weight
-------   ------    -----     --------                ------
100148    22-M-2    22        1.2 A.H. at .04 Amps.   6-1/4 Lbs.
100140     2-L-2    22        1.2 A.H. at 25 Amps.    19-3/4 Lbs.


  [Fig. 171 Philadelphia Radio "A" battery]

The Philadelphia Storage Battery Co. makes both "A" and "B" Radio
batteries. The "A" battery, Fig. 171, uses the standard diamond-grid
plates, and the "Philco Slotted Retainer" used in Philadelphia
starting batteries. The cases of the "A" batteries are made of
hardwood, finished in an ebonite black. Soft rubber insulating feet on
the bottom of the case prevent scratching any table or varnished floor
on which the battery may be set. The instructions for preparing the
Philadelphia "A" battery for service are similar to those given for
the starting and lighting batteries, given on page 228. For the
initial filling, 1.220 electrolyte is used, and the battery charged at
the following rates:

Initial and Recharge Charging Rate
Type      Initial Rate      Recharge Rate
----      ------------      -------------
56LAR     1.0               2
56RAR     2.0               3
76RAR     3.0               4.5
96RAR     4.0               6
116RAR    5.6               7.5
136RAR    6.0               9

The final gravity of the electrolyte should be 1.250. However, if the
owner insists on getting maximum capacity, the battery may be filled
with 1.250 electrolyte and balanced to 1.290 at the end of the charge.

  [Fig. 172 Philadelphia Radio "B" battery]

The Philadelphia Radio "B" battery, type 224-RB, Fig. 172, has 12
cells contained in a one-piece rubber case. It is shipped dry, and
requires no initial charge. To prepare it for service, the soft rubber
vent caps are removed and 25 c. c. of 1.250 electrolyte poured into
each cell.


  [Fig. 173 U.S.L. Radio "A" battery]

The U. S. L. Radio "A" battery, Fig. 173, uses 1/4 inch positives,
with 3/16 inch intermediate and 1/8 inch outside negatives. Port
Orford cedar separators are used which are four times as thick as the
usual starting battery separator. The case is made of hardwood, and is
varnished to match cabinet work. The electrolyte has a specific
gravity of 1.220. The heavy plates and separators and the low gravity
of the electrolyte are designed to give long life.

                 Ampere        Ampere Hour
         Plates  Hour          Capacity
          per    Capacity      (or intermittent
Type      Cell   @ 3 Amperes    use)              Dimensions      Weight
----      ----   -----------   ----------------   ----------      ------
DXA-303-X  3     12            20                 5-3/16 x          18
                                                  7-1/4 x 9-1/4
DXA-305-X  5     40            60                 9-1/8 x 7-1/4     39
                                                  x 9-1/4
DXA-307-X  7     70            85                 11-3/4 x 7-7/16   48
                                                  x 9-1/4
DXA-309-X  9     98            115                14-3/8 x 7-7/16   59
                                                  x 9-1/4


The Prest-O-Lite Co. makes two lines of Radio "A" Batteries. First, an
inexpensive battery, Fig. 174, and a deluxe battery, Fig. 175, which
has a better finish and appearance. Both types have a mahogany
finished case with rubber feet to prevent damaging furniture. A bail
handle simplifies the carrying of the battery. Capacities range from
47 ampere-hours to 127 ampere-hours at a one ampere discharge rate.

  [Fig. 174 & 175 Presto-O-Lite Radio "A" battery]

Table of Prest-O-Lite Radio Batteries
          Hours Discharge at Rate of:
Type      1 Amp.   2 Amps.   3 Amps.   5 Amps.   10 Amps.
-------   ------   -------   -------   -------   --------
67 WHNR   47.5     21.7      13.6      7.5       3.0
69 WHNR   66       30        18.9      10.5      4.5
611 WHNR  82.8     38.5      24.3      13.5      6.0
67 KPNR   95       44.2      27.8      15.0      6.5
69 KPNR   127      61.5      38.5      21.5      9.5


  [Fig. 176 Universal Type WR, Radio "A" battery]

The Universal Battery Co. manufacture three types of Radio "A" storage
batteries. Type WR, Fig. 176, has three sealed hard rubber jars
assembled in a hardwood case which is stained and finished in
mahogany. The separators are made of Port Orford cedar and are 1/8
inch thick, about twice the thickness of the separator used in
starting and lighting batteries. The plates also are much thicker than
the standard starting and lighting battery plate. The type WR battery
comes in three sizes. Types WR-5, WR-7, and WR-9, having capacities of
60, 85, and 105 ampere hours, respectively, at a 3 ampere rate.

The Universal type RR radio "A" battery, Fig. 177, is assembled in a
hard rubber combination case, which is a solid piece of rubber divided
into three compartments. This gives a compact, acid proof case. This
battery also comes in three sizes, types RR-5, RR-7, and RR-9, having
capacities of 60, 85 and 105 ampere hours, respectively, at a three
ampere discharge rate.

  [Fig. 177 Universal Type RR, Radio "A" battery]

  [Fig. 178 Universal Type GR, Radio "A" battery]

The Universal type GR radio "A" battery, Fig. 178, is assembled in
three sealed glass jars which are placed in a mahogany finished wooden
crate. This construction makes the cell interiors visible, enabling
the owner to detect troubles and to watch the action of the cells on
charge and discharge. The GR battery comes in two sizes, GR-5 and
GR-Jr., having respective capacities of 60 and 16 ampere hours at a 3
ampere discharge rate.


During the past year or two, so-called "dry" starting and lighting
storage batteries have appeared on the market. This class includes
batteries having "dry," "semi-dry," and "jelly" electrolytes. The
claims made for these batteries are that there is nothing to evaporate
and that the periodical addition of water is therefore unnecessary,
that spilling and slopping of electrolyte is impossible, and that
injurious sulphation does not take place.

The "dry" storage battery is not a new idea, for as much as
thirty-five years ago, the Oerlikon Company of Switzerland
manufactured "dry" electrolyte storage batteries in commercial
quantities. These batteries were for a long time a distinct success
for work requiring only low rates of discharge. For high rates of
discharge the lack of diffusion, due to the absence of a liquid
electrolyte, reduces the capacity. The lack of diffusion will cause a
rapid drop in voltage when cranking the engine! and a slow recovery
after the engine begins to run under its own power.

The manufacturers of the "dry" storage batteries, of course, claim
that their batteries are more efficient and satisfactory than the
standard "wet" battery, but it has been impossible to get sufficient
data from the manufacturers to go into detail on the subject.

Several of the largest of "wet" battery manufacturers formerly made
"dry" storage batteries for lighting and ignition service, but when
starting motors came into use, discarded the "dry" batteries in favor
of the present "wet" storage batteries.


Discharge tests may be divided into four general classes:

(a) Brief High Rate Discharge Tests to determine condition of battery.
These tests are made for 15 seconds at a high rate.

(b) Lighting Ability Discharge Tests.

(c) Starting Ability Discharge Tests.

(d) "Cycling" Discharge Tests.

The 15 Seconds High Rate Discharge Test

The 1.5 seconds high rate discharge test is a valuable aid in
determining the condition of a battery, particularly where the
hydrometer readings give false indications, such as is the case when
electrolyte or acid is added to a cell instead of water to replace
evaporation. Only two or three percent of the battery capacity is
consumed by the test, and it is not usually necessary to recharge the
battery after making the test. The test must be made in conjunction
with hydrometer readings, as otherwise it might give false indications
itself. Both incoming and outgoing batteries may be tested, and the
method of testing depends upon whether the battery is coming in for
repairs, or is going out after having been charged, repaired, or
worked on in any way. In either case, the test consists of discharging
the battery at a high rate for a short time, and taking voltage
readings and making observations while the battery is discharging.

  [Fig. 179 Making a 20 seconds high rate discharge test]

Rates of Discharge. It is not necessary to have any definitely fixed
discharge rate. The rate should merely be high enough to reveal any
improperly burned joints, short-circuited cells, or cells low in
capacity for any reason. The discharge tester is suitable for all
batteries used on cars and trucks.

For an Incoming Battery. Take a hydrometer reading of each cell. If
the readings are all below 1.200 and are within 50 points of each
other, most likely all the battery needs is a bench charge, with a
possible adjustment of the gravity of the electrolyte at the end of
the charge. The discharge test should in this case be made after the
battery has been fully charged.

If the gravity readings are all above 1.200, or if the reading of one
cell differs from the others by 50 points or more, make the discharge
test, as shown in Fig. 179.

After fifteen seconds, read the voltage of each cell. If the cells are
uniformly low in voltage; that is, below 1.5 volts per cell, the
battery needs recharging. If the voltage readings of the cells differ
by 0.1.0 volt or more and the battery is fairly well charged, there is
something wrong in the cell having the low reading, and the battery
should be opened and examined. With a discharged battery the
difference in cell voltage will be greater, depending on the extent of
the discharge, and only experience can guide in drawing correct
conclusions. A short-circuited cell will give a very low voltage
reading. Remember that the actual voltage reading is not as important
in indicating a defective cell as the difference between the voltage
readings of the cells. A cell which gives a voltage which is 0.1 volt
or more less than the others is generally defective.

For Outgoing New, Charged, or Repaired Batteries. Just before putting
the battery into service, make the test as a check on the internal
condition of the battery, particularly if the battery has been
repaired or has stood for sometime since being charged. (It is assumed
that the battery has been charged and the gravity of the electrolyte
properly adjusted when the test is made.)

The battery should not show more than 0.10 volt difference between any
two cells at the end of 15 seconds, and no cell should show a voltage
less than 1.75 volts, and the voltage should remain fairly constant
during the test. If every cell reads below 1.75 volts, the battery has
not been completely charged. If one cell is more than 0.10 volt lower
than the others, or if its voltage falls off rapidly, that cell still
needs repairs, or is insufficiently charged, or else the top
connectors are not burned on properly. Top connectors which heat up
during the test are not burned on properly.

Lighting Ability Discharge Tests

These are tests continuing for 5 hours to a final voltage of 1.7 per
cell. These tests are not of as great an interest as the Starting
Ability Tests, description of which follows:

Starting Ability Discharge Tests

The Society of Automotive Engineers recommends two ratings for
starting and lighting batteries:

"Batteries for combined lighting and starting service shall have two
ratings. The first shall indicate the lighting ability and be the
capacity in ampere-hours of the battery when discharged continuously
at the 5 hour rate to a final voltage of not less than 1.7 per cell,
the temperature of the battery beginning such a discharge being 80
deg. Fahr. The second rating shall indicate the starting ability and
shall be the capacity in ampere-hours when the battery is discharged
continuously at the 20 minute rate to a final voltage of not less than
1.50 per cell, the temperature of the battery beginning such discharge
being 80 deg. Fahr."

The capacity in ampere-hours given by manufacturers is for a
continuous discharge for 5 hours. In the battery shop, however, the
"starting-ability" discharge test is the test which should be made,
though the conditions of the test are changed somewhat. To make this
test, the battery should be fully charged. Connect a rheostat to the
battery terminals and adjust the rheostat to draw about 100 amperes
from an 11 plate battery, 120 amperes from a 13 plate battery, 135
amperes from a 15 plate battery, 155 amperes from a 17 plate battery,
170 amperes from a 19 plate battery and so on. Continue the discharge
for 20 minutes, keeping the discharge current constant, and taking
voltage readings of each cell at the start, and at the end of 5, 10,
15, and 20 minutes. At the end of 20 minutes, if the battery is in
good condition, the voltage of each cell should not be less than 1.5,
and the temperature of the electrolyte in any cell should not exceed
95 degrees Fahrenheit, provided that the temperature at the start was
about 80 degrees.

The cell voltages should drop slowly during the test. If the voltage
begins to drop rapidly during the test, as shown by the current
falling off so rapidly that it is difficult to keep it at 100 amperes,
measure the cell voltages quickly to see which cells are dropping
rapidly. An example of a 100 ampere test on a good rebuilt cell with
eleven plates is as follows:

Voltage immediately after start of discharge, 1.88. After 5 minutes,
1.86 volts. After 10 minutes, 1.80 volts. After 15 minutes, 1.72
volts. After 20 minutes, 1.5 volts.

If the voltage of a cell begins to fall off rapidly before the twenty
minutes are up, but not before 15 minutes, the cell needs "cycling"
(charging and discharging) to bring it up to capacity.

If the voltage drops rapidly before the end of 15 minutes, the plates
are low in capacity, due to age, or some defect. It is not safe to
expect very good service from a cell which will not stand up for 20
minutes before de voltage begins to drop rapidly.

If the rapid voltage drop begins very much before 20 minutes, it is
very doubtful whether the battery will give good service. Comparisons
of the results of tests with the service which the battery gives after
installed on the car will soon enable the repairman to tell from the
results of the tests just what to expect from any battery.

The "starting-ability" test should be made on all batteries which have
been rebuilt whenever there is time to do so and on all batteries
about which there is any doubt as to what service they will give.
After the test, the batteries should be put on the line again and
charged before sending them out.

The rates of discharge given here for the "starting-ability" tests may
be varied if experience with a particular make of battery shows some
other rate to be better. The important thing is to use the same rate
of discharge for the same make and type of battery at all times. In
this way the repairman will soon be able to distinguish between good
and bad batteries of a particular make and type.

Cadmium Tests may be made during the Starting Ability Discharge Tests.
See page 174.

"Cycling" Discharge Tests

New batteries, or rebuilt batteries which have had new plates
installed, or sulphated batteries which will not "come up" on charge,
should be discharged when they have "come-up," as far as they will go.
In some cases it is necessary to charge and discharge them several
times before they will be ready for service. This charging and
discharging is often called "cycling" the battery.

New batteries are generally "cycled" at the factory before sending
them out. The forming charge generally does not convert all the pastes
into active material and the battery using plates which have been
treated in the forming room is put through several discharges and
charges after the battery is fully assembled. In service on a car, the
battery is being "cycled" constantly and there is generally an
increase in capacity after a battery is put on a car. Positive plates
naturally increase in capacity, sometimes up to the very clay when
they fall to pieces, while negatives tend to lose capacity with age.

Batteries which are assembled in the service station, using new
plates, generally require several cycles of charge and discharge
before the specific gravity will rise to 1.280 before the positives
will give 2.4-2.5 volts on a Cadmium test, before the negatives will
give a reversed voltage reading of 0.175 to 0.20 volt on a Cadmium
test, and before a satisfactory "starting-ability" or "breakdown" test
can be made.

A battery which has been abused by failing to add water to replace
evaporation, by allowing to remain in a partially or completely
discharged condition for sometime, or which has been allowed to become
sulphated in any other way, will generally require "cycling" before it
will "come-up" to a serviceable condition.

The rates for a "cycling" discharge should be such that the battery
will be discharged during the daytime, the discharge being started in
the morning, and the battery being put back oil the charging line in
the evening in order that it may be charging during the night. The
rate of discharge should be somewhat higher than the rate used when
the plates are formed. Two or three amperes per positive plate in each
cell will generally be satisfactory.

Discharge Apparatus

A simple discharge rheostat is shown in Fig. 180. The terminal on the
end of the cable attached to the right hand terminal of the battery
shown in the illustration is movable, and it may be clamped at any
point along the coils of wire so as to give various currents. The wire
should be greased lightly to prevent rusting.

  [Fig. 180 Simple high rate discharge rheostat]

Another simple apparatus consists of a board on which are mounted six
double contact automobile lamp sockets which are all connected in
parallel. A pair of leads having test clips attached is brought out
from the sockets for fastening to the battery terminals. Lamps of
various candlepower may be turned into the sockets to obtain different

Discharge tests are helpful in the case of a battery that has lost
capacity. The battery is first fully charged, and is then discharged
at the 5 hour rate. When the voltage of the battery has fallen to 1.7
volts per cell (measured while the battery is discharging) a Cadmium
test is made to determine whether the positives or negatives are
causing the lack of capacity. For further descriptions of the Cadmium
Test see Page 174.

In reviving sulphated batteries, it is sometimes necessary to charge
and discharge the battery several times to put the active material in
a healthy condition.

Discharge tests at a high rate are very valuable in diagnosing the
condition of a battery. A description of such tests will be found on
Page 267. For making the heavy discharge tests a rheostat of the
carbon plate type is suitable. With such a rheostat currents from 25
to more than 200 may be drawn from a six volt battery, and a smooth,
even variation of a current may be obtained from the minimum to the
maximum values. Such a rheostat is on the market and may be purchased
complete with ammeter and leads for attaching to the battery.


Batteries which are shipped without electrolyte need merely have
plenty of excelsior placed around them in a strong crate for
protection from mechanical injury.

Batteries which are shipped filled with electrolyte must be protected
from mechanical injury and must also be packed so that it is difficult
to turn the crate upside down and thus allow the electrolyte to run
out. A very popular crate has been the so-called "dog-house," with a
gable roof such as is actually used on dog-houses. The idea of such a
roof is that it is impossible to place the crate with the roof down,
since it will tip over if this is done. However, if these crates are
placed side by side, it is a very simple matter to put a second row of
crates on top of them, turning the second row up-side-down, as shown
in Fig. 181, and allowing the electrolyte to run out. The men who load
freight or express-cars have often shown great skill and cunning in
packing "dog-house" crates in other ways so as to damage the
batteries. Many have attained a high degree of perfection in breaking
the crates.

  [Fig. 181 "Dog-house" crates for shipping batteries]

Some sort of a roof on a battery crate is required by law, the idea
being to make it difficult to turn the crate up-side-down. Perhaps the
best crate would be one with a flat top marked "This Side Up," but
such a crate would not comply with the law.

  [Fig. 182 Steps for construction of a crate for shipping

A better form of crate than the "dog-house" and one which complies
with the law, is shown in Fig. 182. The top of each end piece is cut
at an angle, the peak on one end being placed opposite the low point
of the opposite end piece. Fig. 182 shows the steps in the
construction of the crate.

1. The case should be built of strong lumber (11/2 inch preferably),
and of ample size to allow packing with excelsior top, bottom, sides
and ends to a thickness of two or three inches. Nail strongly.

2. When the case is complete (except cover) place a thick, even layer
of excelsior (or packing straw) in the bottom and set in *he battery
right side up. Lay paper (preferably paraffined) over top of battery
to keep it clean, then pack tightly with excelsior sides and ends.

3. Now lay sufficient packing material on top of the battery so that
cover will compress it tightly, stuffing it under cover boards as they
are put on.

The extended boards at bottom, and the gable roof are provided to
prevent the battery from being tipped over; extensions of sides for
carrying. Box should be plainly labeled: "HANDLE WITH CARE. DAMAGES
CLAIMED IF TIPPED ON SIDE." In addition to the address of destination,
as given in shipping instructions be sure to mark with name of shipper
for identification upon arrival. When shipping by freight, the proper
freight classification in the United States is "Electric Storage
Batteries, Assembled." When shipping by express in the United States,
"Acid" caution labels must be attached to each package.


Separators which have been given the chemical treatment necessary to
remove the substances which would cause trouble in the battery, and to
make the wood porous, must be kept wet and never be allowed to become
dry. A lead lined box, or large earthenware jars may be used as
containers. Put the separators in the container and then pour in
enough very weak electrolyte to cover the separators. This electrolyte
may be made of I part of 1.220 electrolyte to 10 parts of distilled
water, by volume. Be very careful to have the container absolutely
clean and to use chemically pure acid and distilled water in making
the weak electrolyte. Remember that impurities which are picked up by
the separators will go into the battery in which the separators are
placed. Therefore, keep the separator tank in a clean place and keep a
cover on it. Have your hands clean when you take separators out of the
tank to place in a battery, and do not put the separators on a dirty
bench before inserting them between plates. The best thing to do is to
hold the separators in one hand and insert them with the other, and
not lay them on any bench at all.


Separators are the weakest part of a battery and wear out while the
other parts of a battery are still in good condition. Good plates are
often ruined by weakened separators causing short-circuits. Many
batteries which have to be junked after being in service about a year
would have given considerable service if they had been reinsulated.

Generally the separators of one cell wear out before those of the
other cells. Do not, however, reinsulate that cell alone. The
separators in the other cells are as old as those which have worn out,
and are very near the breaking down point. If you reinsulate only one
cell, the owner will naturally assume that the other cells are in good
condition. What happens? A month or so later one of the other cells
"goes dead." This does not have a very soothing effect on the owner,
who will begin to lose confidence in you and begin to look around for
another service station.

If you explain frankly that it is useless to reinsulate only one cell
of a battery and that the other cells will break down in a short time,
the customer will want you to reinsulate all the cells. A somewhat
higher bill for reinsulating all the cells at once will be more
agreeable than having the cells break down one at a time within a
month or two.

In the case of the customers who come in regularly for testing and
filling service, you will be able to tell when the separators are
wearing out. When you find that a battery which has been in service
about a year begins to run down frequently, and successive tests made
in connection with testing and filling service show that the generator
is not able to keep the battery charged, advise the owner to have the
battery reinsulated. Do not wait for the battery to have a dead cell.
Sell the owner on the idea that reinsulation will prevent the
possibility of his battery breaking down when he may be out on a tour,
and when it may be necessary to have his car towed in to a service
station. If you allow the battery to remain on the car when it begins
to lose its charge, the owner will not, of course, suspect that
anything is wrong, and if his battery one day breaks down suddenly,
lie will very likely lose confidence both in you and the battery,
since he has been bringing in his car regularly in order to have his
battery kept in good shape. The sudden failure of his battery will,
therefore, make him believe that you do not know your business, or
that the battery is a poor one.

New separators will give every battery which is a year old a new lease
on life. If you explain to a customer that he will get a much longer
period of service from his battery if he has it reinsulated when the
battery is a year old, you should have no trouble in getting the job,
and the subsequent performance of the battery will show that you knew
what you were talking about.


1. Do not work on an empty stomach-you can then absorb lead easily.

2. Keep your fingers out of your mouth when at work.

3. Keep your finger nails short and clean.

4. Do not chew tobacco while at work. In handling tobacco, the lead
oxides are carried to your mouth. Chewing tobacco does not prevent you
from swallowing lead.

5. When you leave the shop at night, and before eating, wash your
face, hands, and arms with soap, and clean your nose, mouth, and
finger nails.

6. Do not eat in the repair shop.

7. Drink plenty of good milk. It prevents lead poisoning.

8. Use Epsom Salts when constipated. This is very important.

9. Bathe frequently to prevent lead poisoning.

10. Leave your working clothes in the shop.

11. It is better not to wear a beard or mustache. Keep your hair
covered with a cap.

12. Before sweeping the shop dampen the floor to keep down the dust.

13. Do not drink beer or whisky, or any other alcoholic liquors. These
weaken your system and make you more susceptible to lead poisoning.

14. In handling lead, wear gloves as much as possible, and wash and
dry the gloves every day that you wear them.

15. Wear goggles to keep lead and acid out of your eyes.

16. When melting lead in a hydrogen flame, as in burning on the top
connectors, the fumes given off may be blown away by a stream of air.
The air supply to the flame may be tapped for this purpose.

17. The symptoms of lead poisoning are: gums darken or become blue,
indigestion, colic, constipation, loss of appetite, muscular pain. In
the later stages there is muscular weakness and paralysis. The hands
become limp and useless.

18. Wear rubber shoes or boots. Leather shoes should be painted with a
hot mixture of equal parts of paraffine and beeswax.

19. Wear woolen clothes if possible. Cotton clothing should be dipped
in a strong solution of baking soda and dried. Wear a flannel apron
covered with sacking.

20. Keep a bottle of strong ammonia handy. If you should spill acid on
your clothes, apply some of the ammonia immediately to neutralize the
acid, which will otherwise burn a hole in your clothes.

21. Keep a stone, earthenware, or porcelain jar filled with a solution
of washing soda or baking soda (bicarbonate of soda). Rinse your hands
in this solution occasionally to prevent the acid from irritating them.

22. If you should splash acid in your eye, wash it out immediately
with warm water, and drop olive oil on the eye. If you have no olive
oil at hand, do not wait to get some, but use any, lubricating oil, or


"Out of sight, out of mind," is a familiar saying. But when does it
hold true?

What about the battery repairman? Are the batteries he repairs "out of
sight, out of mind?" Does his responsibility end when he has installed
a battery on a car? Suppose he put a battery in first class shape,
installs it on a car, and, after a week or two the battery comes back,
absolutely dead? Is the battery at fault, or is the repairman to
blame for neglecting to make sure that the battery would be given a
reasonably good chance to give good service and receive fair treatment
from the other part of the electrical system?

The actual work on the battery is finished when the battery cables are
fastened to the battery terminals. But real battery SERVICE does not
end there. The battery is the most important part of the electrical
system of a car, but it is only one part, and a good battery cannot be
expected to give satisfactory service when it is connected to the
other parts of the electrical system without making sure that these
parts are working properly, any more than a man wearing new, shoes can
step into a mud puddle and not have his shoes covered with dirt.

The battery functions by means of the current which flows through it
by way of the cables which are connected to its terminals. A battery
is human in many respects. It must have both food and exercise and
there must be a proper balance between the food and the exercise. Too
much food for the amount of exercise, or too much exercise for the
amount of food consumed will both lead to a lowering of efficiency,
and disease frequently results. A battery exercises when it turns over
the starting motor, furnishes energy to the lamps, or operates the a
ignition system. It receives food when it is charged. Proper attention
to the electrical system will result in a correct balance between food
and exercise, or in other words, charge and discharge.

The electrical equipment of a car consists of five principal parts:

1. The Battery.
2. The Ignition System.
3. The Starting Motor.
4. The Generator.
5. The Lighting System.

The normal course of operation of this system is as follows:

Starting. The ignition switch is closed, and connects the ignition
system to the battery. The starting switch is then closed, connecting
the starting motor to the battery. The battery sends a heavy current
through the starting motor, causing the motor to turn over, or "crank"
the engine. The motion of the engine pistons draws a mixture of air
and gasoline vapor into the cylinders. At the proper instant sparks
are made to jump between the points of the spark plugs, igniting the
air and gasoline vapor mixture, forming a large amount of gas. This
gas expands, and in doing so puts the engine into motion. The engine
begins to run under its own power and the starting switch is opened,
since the starting motor has performed the work required of it, and
has nothing further to do as long as the engine runs.

The engine now operates the generator. The generator begins to build
up a voltage as the engine speed increases. When the voltage of the
generator has risen to about 7-7.5, the generator is automatically
connected to the battery by the cutout (also known as reverse-current
relay, cut-out relay, or relay). The voltage of the generator being
higher than that of the battery, the generator sends a current through
the battery, which "charges" the battery. As long As the engine
continues to run above the speed at which the generator develops a
voltage higher than that of the battery, a charging current will
normally flow through the battery. When the ignition switch is opened
the engine can no longer develop any power and consequently stops
running. When the decreasing engine speed causes the generator speed
to drop to a point at which the generator voltage is less than that of
battery, the battery sends a reverse, or discharge current through the
cutout and generator, thereby causing the cutout to open and
disconnect the generator from the battery.

Lights. When the engine is not running, the battery furnishes current
to the lights. This is a discharge current. When the engine runs at a
speed which is greater than that at which the the cutout closes, the
generator furnishes current for the lights, and also for the ignition
system, in addition to sending a charging current through the battery.

From the foregoing description, we see that the battery is at rest, is
discharging, or charging under the following conditions:

Engine Not Running, Lamps Off, Ignition Off. Under these conditions
all switches are open, and hence no current should be passing through
the battery. If a current is found to be passing through the battery
under these conditions, it is a discharge current which is not doing
any work and is caused by a defective cutout, defective switches, or
grounds and short-circuits in the wires, cables, or apparatus
connected to the battery.

Starting the Engine. A heavy discharge current is drawn from the
battery. This current should not flow more than 10 seconds. If the
starting motor does not crank the engine or cranks it too slowly, the
motor or the cables and switch connecting the motor to the battery are
defective, assuming that the battery is large enough and is in a good
condition. If the starting motor cranks the engine, but the engine
does not begin to run under its own power within ten seconds, the
starting system is not at fault, and the starting switch should be

Engine Not Running, All Lamps On. A discharge current flows from the
battery which is equal to the sum of the currents drawn by lamps when
connected to the battery separately. If the current is greater than
this sum, trouble is present.

Engine Running, Lamps Off. The generator sends a charging current into
the battery and also supplies current to the ignition system (except
when a magneto is used). If the generator does not send a charging
current through the battery there is trouble in the generator, or in
the parts connecting the generator to the battery (assuming the
battery to be in a good condition). If the generator sends a current
through the battery, it may be of the correct value, it may be
insufficient, or it may be excessive. A normal current is one which
keeps the battery fully charged, but does not overheat it or cause
excessive gassing. An insufficient current is one which fails to keep
the battery charged. An excessive charging current is one which keeps
the battery charged, but which at the same time overheats the battery
and causes excessive gassing. The excessive current may also overheat
the generator, while a normal or insufficient charging current will
not injure the generator.

It is possible, but not probable, that the generator may be sending
current through the battery in the wrong direction, so as to discharge
it instead of charging it. This will happen if a very badly discharged
battery is installed with the connections reversed. If a fully or even
partly charged battery is installed with its connections reversed, the
battery will generally reverse the polarity of the generator
automatically, and the battery will be charged in the proper
direction, although the current flow in the charging circuit is
actually reversed.

Engine Running, Lamps On. Under these conditions, the generator should
supply the current for the lights, and still send a charging current
of 3 to 5 amperes through the battery. This means that the current
drawn from the battery when the engine is not running and the lights
are all turned on should be at least several amperes less than the
charging current which the generator sends into the battery when the
engine is running and the lamps are turned off.

Tests to Be Made by the Repairman

The battery repairman can, and always should, make a few simple tests
which will tell him whether the various conditions of operation are
normal. This should be done as follows:

1. Install the battery carefully (see page 236), and connect the
negative battery cable to the negative battery terminal. Now tap the
positive battery cable on the positive battery terminal. If a snappy
spark is obtained when this is done, some of the switches are open or
are defective, the cutout is stuck in the closed position, or there
are grounds or short-circuits in the parts which are permanently
connected to the battery.

Even though no spark is obtained when you tap the positive battery
cable on the positive battery terminal, there may be some trouble
which draws enough current from the battery to cause it to run down in
a short time. To detect such trouble, connect a voltmeter (which has
sufficient range to indicate the battery voltage) between the positive
battery cable and the positive battery terminal. (Cable is
disconnected from the terminal.) If the voltmeter now gives a reading
equal to the voltage of the battery, there is some condition causing a
current leakage from the battery, such as a cutout stuck in the closed
position, defective switches which do not break the circuits when in
the open position, or grounds or short-circuits in the cables and
wires connected to the battery.

If the voltmeter pointer does not move from the "0" line on the scale,
complete the battery connections by fastening the positive battery
cable to the positive battery terminal, and make the test described in
Section 2. If the voltmeter pointer moves from the "0" line, and gives
a reading equal to the battery voltage, connect the voltmeter
permanently between the positive battery cable and the positive
battery terminal and make a general inspection of the wiring, looking
for cut or torn insulation which allows a wire or cable to come in
contact with the frame of the car, or with some other wire or cable,
thereby causing a ground or short-circuit. Old, oil-soaked insulation
on wires and cables will often cause such trouble. If a general
inspection does not reveal the cause of the current leakage, proceed
as follows:

Closed Cutout, or Defective Cutout Windings.  (a) If the cutout is
mounted outside the generator, remove the cover from it and see if the
points are stuck together. If they are, separate them and see if the
voltmeter pointer returns to the "0" line. If it does, you have found
the trouble. The points should be made smooth with 00 sandpaper. See
that the moving arm of the cutout moves freely and that the spring
which tends to hold the arm in the open position is not weak or broken.

If the voltmeter pointer does not return to the "0" line when the
cutout points are separated, or if the points were not found to be
stuck together, disconnect from the cutout the wire which goes to the
ammeter or battery. If this causes the voltmeter pointer to return to
the "0" line, the cutout is defective and a new one should be
installed, unless the trouble can be found by inspection and repaired.

If the voltmeter pointer does not return to the "0" line when the
battery or ammeter wire is disconnected from the cutout, see paragraph

(b) If the cutout is mounted inside the generator, disconnect from the
generator the wire which goes to the ammeter or indicator. If this
causes the voltmeter pointer to return to the "0" line, the cutout
points are stuck together or the cutout is defective, and the
generator should be taken apart for inspection. If this does not cause
the voltmeter pointer to return to the "0" line, replace the wire and
see paragraph (d).

(c) If no cutout is used and connections between the generator (or
motor-generator) and the battery are made by closing the ignition or
starting switch, such as is the case on Delco and Dyneto
motor-generators, and some Delco generators, disconnect from the
generator or motorgenerator the wire that goes to the ammeter or
indicator. If this causes the voltmeter pointer to return to the "0"
line, the switch which connects the generator or motor-generator to
the ammeter or indicator is defective. If the voltmeter pointer does
not return to the "0" line, replace the wire and consult paragraph (d).

(d) Defective Starting Switch. Disconnect from the starting switch the
cable that goes to the battery. If one or more smaller wires are
connected to the same terminal as the heavy cable, disconnect them
also and hold their bare ends on the bare end of the heavy cable. If
this causes the voltmeter pointer to return to the "0" line, the
starting switch is defective. If the voltmeter pointer does not return
to the "0" line, replace the cable and wires on the starting switch
terminal and proceed as follows:

Defective Switches. See that the ignition and lighting switches are in
their "OFF" positions. If they are not, open them and see if the
voltmeter pointer returns to the "0" line. If it does, you have found
the trouble. If it does not, disconnect from the switch (or switches,
if there are separate lighting and ignition switches), the feed wire
which supplies current to the switch from the battery. If this causes
the voltmeter pointer to return to the "0" line, the switches are
defective. If the pointer does not return to the "0" line, replace the
wires on the switch and consult the next paragraph.

If there are other switches which control a spot light, or special
circuits, such as tonneau lamps, or accessories, such as gasoline
vaporizers, electric primers, etc., make the same tests on these
switches. If no trouble has been found, see paragraph (e).

(e) Grounds or Short-Circuits in Wiring. Disconnect from each terminal
point in the wiring system the wires which are connected together at
that point. Also remove fuses from the fuse blocks. If the voltmeter
pointer returns to the "0" line when a certain wire or fuse is
removed, there is a ground or short-circuit in the wire or in the
circuit to which the fuse is connected.

(f) Turn on the Lights. Remove the voltmeter and complete the battery
connection. Note how much current is indicated on the ammeter mounted
on the instrument panel of the car as the different lamps are turned
on. In each case the ammeter should indicate "discharge." Should the
ammeter indicate "charge" the battery connections have been reversed,
or the ammeter connections are reversed. The driver will tell you
whether the ammeter has been reading "charge" or "discharge" when the
lamps were turned on. This is a good way to check your battery

If the car has no ammeter, or has an indicator which is marked "ON" or
"OFF," or "Charge" or "Discharge," an ammeter may be connected in
series with the battery by disconnecting the cable from the positive
battery terminal and connecting the ammeter to the cable and to the
terminal, and the readings obtained from this meter.

The amperes indicated on the ammeter should be the greatest when the
main headlamps are burning bright. By comparing the readings obtained
when the different lighting combinations are turned on, it is
sometimes possible to detect trouble in some of the lighting lines.

3. Start the Engine. Before you do this, be sure that the cables are
connected directly to the battery terminals, and that no ammeter or
voltmeter is connected in series with the battery, as the heavy
current drawn by the starting motor would ruin the instruments very
quickly. An ammeter may be left connected in series with the battery,
providing that a switch is used to short-circuit the meter while
starting the engine. A meter having a 500 ampere scale may be left
connected in series with the battery while the engine is being
started, but for the tests which are to be made a 25 ampere scale
should be used.

The engine should start within ten seconds after the starting switch
is closed. If more time than this is required, carburetor adjustments,
position of the choke lever, etc., should be looked after. Continued
cranking of the engine will run the battery down very quickly, and the
chances are that the car will not be run long enough to allow the
generator to recharge the battery. Make whatever adjustments are
necessary to reduce the cranking time to ten seconds, or advise the
owner to have them made, warning him that otherwise you will not be
responsible if the battery runs down very quickly.

4. When the engine has started, set the throttle lever so that the
engine runs As slowly as possible. The ammeter (either that on the
instrument panel, or a special test ammeter connected in series with
the battery) will indicate several amperes discharge, this being the
current taken by the ignition system.

Now speed up the engine gradually. At an engine speed corresponding to
a car speed of 7 to 10 miles per hour in high (if there is any
difficulty in estimating this speed, drive the car around the block
while making this and the following tests) the ammeter pointer should
move back to, or slightly past, the "0" line, showing that the cutout
has closed. If the ammeter needle jumps back and forth and the cutout
opens and closes rapidly, the polarity of the battery and that of the
generator are not the same. This condition may be remedied by holding
the cutout points closed for several seconds, or by short-circuiting
the "Battery" terminal on the cutout with the "Generator" terminal on
the cutout.

After a slight movement of the ammeter pointer indicates that the
cutout has closed, speed up the engine gradually. When the engine
speed corresponds to a car speed of 18-25 miles per hour in "high,"
the current indicated on the ammeter should reach its maximum value
and the pointer should then stop moving, or should begin to drop back
toward the "0" line as the speed is increased.

For average driving conditions, the maximum charging current should
not exceed 12 to 14 amperes for a 6 volt, 11 to 13 plate battery, and
6 to 7 amperes for a 12 volt battery. (These currents should be
obtained if "constant-current" generators, such as the "third brush,"
"reversed-series," or vibrating current regulators are used. The
"third brush" type of generator is used on more than 99 per cent of
the modern cars. Some cars use a "constant-voltage" regulated
generator, such as the Bijur generator, having a voltage regulator
carried in a box mounted on the generator. On all cars using a
"constant-voltage" generator, the charging rate when the battery is
fully charged should not exceed five amperes for a six volt
generator). If the generator has a thermostat, such as is used on the
Remy generators, the charging rate will be as high as 20 amperes until
the generator warms up, and then the charging rate will drop to 10-12
amperes, due to the opening of the thermostat points, which inserts a
resistance coil in series with the shunt field.

If the charging current reaches its maximum value at 18-25 miles per
hour, and shows no increase at higher speeds, decrease the engine
speed. When the engine is running at a speed corresponding to a car
speed of about 7 miles per hour, or less, the cutout should open,
indicated by the ammeter indicating several amperes discharge, in
addition to the ignition current, for an instant, and then dropping
back to the amount taken by the ignition system.

Now turn on the headlights (and whatever lamps are turned on at the
same time) and speed the engine up again. The ammeter should indicate
some charging current at engine speeds corresponding to the usual
speed at which the car is driven. If it does not, the charging current
should be increased or smaller lamps must be installed.


The operation of the electrical system when the engine is running may
not be as described in the foregoing paragraphs. Troubles may be found
as follows:

1. Cutout does not close until engine reaches a speed in excess of 10
miles per hour. This trouble may be due to the cutout or to the
generator. If the ammeter shows a charging current of three amperes or
more as soon as it closes, the cutout is at fault. The thing to do in
such a case is to adjust the cutout. First see that the movable
armature of the cutout moves freely and does not bind at the pivot. If
no trouble is found here, the thing to do is to decrease the air gap
which exists between the stationary and movable cutout points when the
cutout is open., or to decrease the tension of the spring which tends
to keep the points open. On most cutouts there is a stop which the
cutout armature strikes when the cutout opens. By bending this stop
the air-gap between the points may be decreased. This is the
adjustment which should be made to have the cutout close earlier,
rather than to decrease the spring tension. Some cutouts have a spiral
spring attached to the cutout armature. Others have a flat spring. On
still others, the spring forms the connection between the armature and
the cutout frame. In the first two types, the spring tension may be
decreased, but wherever possible the air-gap adjustment should be made
as described.

If the cutout closes late, and only about an ampere of charging
current is indicated on the ammeter, and the cutout points are fairly
clean and smooth, the trouble is generally in the generator.

The generator troubles which are most likely to exist are:

a. Dirty commutator.
b. Dirty brush contact surface.
c. Loose brushes.
d. Brushes bearing on wrong point of commutator (to set brushes
properly, remove all outside connections from generator, open the
shunt field circuit, and apply a battery across the main brushes.
Shift the brushes until the armature does not tend to rotate in either
direction. This is, of course, a test which must be made with the
generator on the test bench).
e. Loose connections in the shunt field circuit.

The foregoing conditions are the ones which will generally be found.
More serious troubles will generally prevent the generator from
building up at all.

2. Cutout does hot open when engine stops. This condition is shown by
a discharge current of about 5 amperes when the engine has stopped.
(In Delco systems which have no cutout, an even greater discharge will
be noted as long as the ignition switch remains closed.) This trouble
is generally due to cutout points stuck together, a broken cutout
spring, or a bent or binding cutout armature.

3. Cutout does not open until ammeter indicates a discharge of three
or more amperes (in addition to the ignition discharge). This may be
remedied by increasing the spring tension of the cutout, or removing
any trouble which causes the cutout armature to bind. On many cutouts
the armature does not actually touch the core of the cutout winding
when the points are closed, there being a small piece of copper or
other non-magnetic metal on the armature which touches the end of the
cutout and maintains a small air gap between the core and armature,
even when the points are closed. The opening action of the cutout may
be changed by filing this piece of non-magnetic material so as to
decrease the air gap, or pinching it with heavy pliers so as to make
it stand farther out from the cutout armature and thus increase the
air gap between the armature and core when the points are closed.

Decreasing this air gap will cause the cutout to open late, and
increasing it will cause the cutout to open early.

4. Cutout will not close at any engine speed. If cutout does not close
the first time the engine speed is increased, stop the engine. This
condition may be due to a defective cutout, an open-circuit in the
charging line, a ground or short-circuit between the cutout and the
generator, or a defective generator. To determine whether the cutout
is defective, remove the wires from it and hold together the ends of
the wires coming from the generator, and the one going to the ammeter.
Start the engine. If no other trouble exists, the ammeter will
indicate a charging current at speeds above 8-10 miles per hour. If no
current is obtained, stop the engine. If the cutout trouble consisted
of an open circuit in one of its windings, or in the points not
closing, due to dirt or a binding armature, or if there is an
open-circuit in the charging line, the generator will, of course, have
been running on open-circuit. This will cause the fuse in the shunt
field circuit to blow if there is such a fuse, and if there is no such
fuse, the shunt field coils may be burned open, or the insulation on
the field coil wires may have become overheated to a point at which it
burns and carbonizes, and causes a short-circuit between wires. Such
troubles will, of course, prevent a generator from building up when
the cutout wires are disconnected and their ends held together.

If there is a ground in the cutout, or between the cutout and the
generator, the generator will very likely be unable to generate (if a
"one-wire" system is used on the car). If there is some defect in the
generator-such as dirty commutator, high mica, brushes not touching,
commutator dirty, or loose brushes, brushes too far from neutral,
grounded brushes, brushes not well ground in, wrong type of brushes,
grounded commutator or armature windings, short-circuited commutator
or armature windings, open-circuited armature windings, grounded field
windings, short-circuited field windings, open-circuit or poor
connections in field circuit, one or more field coil connections
reversed, wrong type of armature or field coils used in repairing
generator, generator drive mechanism broken-then the generator will
not build up.

If no charging current is, therefore, obtained when the generator and
ammeter wires are disconnected from the cutout and their ends held
together, there may be a ground or short-circuit in the cutout
windings or in the circuit between the generator and the cutout, or
the generator may be defective, due to having been operated on
open-circuit, or due to troubles as described in the foregoing
paragraph. The presence of a ground or short in the circuit between
the generator and cutout or in the cutout may be determined by
disconnected the wire from the generator, disconnecting the battery
(or ammeter) wire from the cutout, and running a separate extra wire
from the generator to the wire removed from the cutout. Then start the
engine again. If a charging current is obtained, there is a ground or
short either in the cutout or in the circuit between the cutout and
the generator. (It is also possible that the failure of the generator
to build up was due to poor brush contact in the generator. The use of
the extra wire connected the generator directly to the battery, thus
magnetizing the generator fields and causing generator to build up. If
poor brush contact prevented the generator from building up, closing
the cutout by hand will often cause the generator to start charging.
If you can therefore cause the generator to build up by holding the
cutout points closed by hand, or by shorting across from the generator
terminal to the battery terminal of the cutout, it is probable that
the generator brushes are not making good contact). The cutout may be
tested by stopping the engine, replacing the battery (or ammeter) wire
on the cutout, and holding the end of the extra wire on the generator
terminal of the cutout. If a charging current is then obtained, the
cutout is 0. K. and the trouble is between the cutout and the

5. An excessive current is obtained. If a third brush generator is
used, look for loose or dirty connections in the charging line, dirty
cutout points, dirty commutator, dirty brushes (especially the brush,
or brushes, which is Dot connected to one end of the field winding),
brushes loose, brushes not well ground in, and any other conditions
which will cause a high resistance in the charging line. It is
characteristic of third brush generators that their current output
increases if there is an increase in resistance in the charging
circuit. If no troubles such as those enumerated above are found, the
third brush may need adjusting.

Generators using vibrating current or voltage regulators will give an
excessive output if the points need adjusting or if the regulating
resistance is short-circuited.

Generators using reversed series regulation will give an excessive
output if there is a short-circuit in the series field coils.

6. Low charging current is obtained. This may be due to adjustment of
the regulating device, to high resistance in the shunt field circuit
in case of a third brush generator. In case of generators using other
kinds of regulation, loose connections, dirty commutator and brushes,
etc., will cause low charging current.

7. Generator charges up to a certain speed and then stops charging.
The trouble is caused by some condition which causes the brushes to
break contact with the commutator, especially in the case of a "third"
brush. High mica, loose brush spring, or a commutator which has been
turned down off-center may cause the trouble. This trouble most
frequently occurs on cars using third brush motor-generators having a
3 to 1 or more speed ratio between them and the engine. These
motor-generators operate at such high speeds that high mica and a
commutator which is even slightly off center have a much greater
effect than the same conditions would cause in separate generators
which operate at much lower speeds. The remedy for this trouble is to
keep the mica under-cut, and to be very careful to center the armature
in the lathe when taking a cut from the armature. In turning down the
commutators of high speed motor-generators, special fittings should be
made by means of which the armature may be mounted in its own
ball-bearings while the commutator is turned down.


The repairman should be very slow in adjusting generator outputs. Most
cases of insufficient or excessive charging current are due to the
troubles enumerated in the foregoing paragraphs, and not due to
incorrect adjustment of the regulating device. Before changing the
adjustment of any generator, therefore, be sure that everything is in
good condition. The third brush generator, for instance, will have an
excessive output if the brushes are dirty, loose, or not well seated
on the commutator. The use of a third brush which is too wide, for
instance, will change the output considerably. A high resistance third
brush will decrease the output, while a low resistance brush will
increase the output. On the other hand, an increase in the resistance
of the charging circuit will cause an increase in the output of a
third brush generator, which is just the opposite to what is
ordinarily expected. Such an increase in resistance may be due to
loose or dirty connections, dirty cutout contact points, corroded
battery terminals and so on. Remember also that the third brush
generator sends a higher current into a fully charged battery than it
sends into a discharged battery. It is, therefore, essential that a
fully charged battery be on the car when the output of a third brush
generator is adjusted.

There are two things which determine whether any change should be made
in the charging rate on the car, viz: Driving, Conditions and the
Season of the Year.

Driving Conditions. A car which makes short runs, with numerous stops,
requires that the starting motor be used frequently. This tends to run
the battery down very quickly. Moreover, such a car usually does not
have its engine running long enough to give the generator an
opportunity to keep the battery charged, and to accomplish this, the
charging rate should be increased.

A car which is used mostly at night may need a higher charging rate,
especially if short runs are made, and if the car stands at the curb
with its lights burning. Long night runs will generally call for only
a normal charging rate, since the long charging periods are offset by
the continuous use of the lamps.

A car used on long daylight runs should generally have the charging
rate reduced, because the battery is charged throughout such runs with
no discharge into lamps or starting of motor to offset the continued
charge. If the lamps are kept lighted during such runs, the normal
charge rate will be satisfactory, because the lamp current will
automatically reduce the current sent into the battery.

In the winter time, engines must be cranked for a longer time before
they will start, the battery is less efficient than in warm weather,
and lights are burning for a greater length of time than in summer.
Such conditions require an increase in the charging rate, especially
if the car is used on short runs. Oil long runs in the winter time,
the normal charging rate will generally be satisfactory because the
long charging period will offset the longer cranking period.

In the summer time, engines start more easily than in winter, and
hence require less cranking. The lamps are used for only short periods
and the battery is more efficient than in winter. A lower charging
rate will, therefore, keep the battery charged. Long tours in the
summer time are especially likely to result in overcharged, overheated
batteries, and a reduced charging rate is called for.

How and When to Adjust Charging Rates

A correct charging rate is one which keeps a battery fully charged,
but does not overcharge it, and which does not cause either the
generator or the battery to become overheated. The only way to
determine whether a certain charging rate is correct on any particular
car is to make an arrangement with the car owner to bring in his car
every two weeks. On such occasions hydrometer readings should be taken
and water added, if necessary, to bring the surface of the electrolyte
up to the proper level. The hydrometer readings will show whether the
generator is keeping the battery charged, and if a change in the
charging rate is necessary, the necessary adjustments may be made. If
a customer does not bring in his car every two weeks, call him up on
the phone or write to him. The interest which you show in his battery
by doing this will generally result in the customer giving you all his
repair business, and he will also tell his acquaintances about your
good service. This will give you considerable "word of mouth"
advertising, which is by far the best form of advertising and which
cannot be bought. It must be earned by good battery service.

Adjusting a third brush generator. The best rule to remember for
changing the output of a third brush machine is that to increase the
output, move the third brush in the direction in which the commutator
rotates, and to decrease the output, move the third brush in the
opposite direction. Move the third brush only 1/16 inch and then
sandpaper the brush seat with 00 sandpaper. Allow the generator to run
for about twenty minutes to "run-in" the brush. Then vary the speed to
see what the maximum charging rate is. If the change in the charging
rate is not sufficient, move the third brush another 1/16 inch and
proceed as before until the desired charging rate is obtained.

Adjusting Vibrating Regulators. The output of generators which use a
vibrating regulator is adjusted by changing the tension of the spring
fastened to the regulator arm. In many cases this adjustment is made
by means of a screw which is turned up or down to change the spring
tension. In other cases a hook or prong is bent to change the spring
tension. Where a coil spring is used, lengthening the spring will
decrease the tension and lower the output, while shortening the spring
will increase the tension and raise the output.

Vibrating regulators are of the "constant" current or the
"constant-voltage" types. The constant current regulator has a winding
of heavy wire which carries the charging current. When the charging
current reaches the value for which the regulator is set, the
electromagnet formed by the coil and the core on which it is wound
draws the regulator armature toward it and thereby separates the
regulator points, which are in series with the shunt field. A
resistance coil, which is connected across the regulator points and
which is short-circuited when the points are closed, is put in series
with the shunt field when the points separate. This reduces the shunt
field current, causing a decrease in generator voltage and hence
current output. As the current decreases, the pull of the
electromagnet on the regulator armature weakens and the spring
overcomes the pull of the electromagnet and closes the regulator
points. This short-circuits the resistance coil connected across the
regulator points and allows the shunt field current to increase again,
thereby increasing the generator output. This cycle is repeated at a
high rate of speed, causing the regulator points to vibrate rapidly.

The action of a vibrating "constant-voltage" regulator is exactly the
same as that of the "constant current" regulator, except that the coil
is connected across the generator brushes. The action of this coil
therefore depends on the generator voltage, the regulator points
vibrating when the generator voltage rises to the value for which the
regulator is set.

Adjusting Reverse-Series Generators. The regulation of the output of
this type of generator is accomplished by means of a field winding
which is in series with the armature, and which therefore carries the
charging current. These series field coils are magnetically opposed to
the shunt field coils, and an increase in charging current results in
a weakening of the field flux. A balanced condition is reached at
which no increase of flux takes place as the generator speed
increases, the tendency of the increased shunt field current to
increase the total flux being counterbalanced by the weakening action
of the flux produced by the series field current.

To increase the output of a reverse series generator, it is necessary
to weaken the opposing series field flux. The only way of doing this
is to short-circuit the series field coils, or connect a resistance
across them. To decrease the output of a reverse series generator, a
resistance coil may be connected in series with the shunt field
winding. Neither of these schemes is practicable, and hence the
reverse series generator may be considered as a "non-adjustable"
machine. Under-charging may be prevented by using the starting motor
and lights as little as possible, or by giving the battery a bench
charge occasionally. Over-charging may be prevented by burning the
lights whenever the engine is running, or leaving the lights turned on
over night.

Other forms of regulation have been used on the older cars, but the
majority of the cars now in use use one of the four forms of
regulation described in the foregoing paragraphs. If adjustments need
to be made on some car having a system of-regulation with which the
battery man is not familiar, the work should be done in a service
station doing generator work.

If generator outputs are changed because of some special operating
condition, such as summer tours, the rate should be changed to normal
as soon as the usual driving conditions are resumed.


Every man expects to be paid for his work, since his purpose in
working is to get money. Yet there are numerous instances in every
line of work requiring work to be done for which no money is received.
The term "Free Service" is familiar to every repairman, and it has
been the cause of considerable discussion and dispute, since it is
often very difficult to know where to draw the Tine between Free
Service and Paid Service.

The term "Free Service" might be abolished with benefit to all
concerned. In the battery business "Free Inspection" service is a
familiar term. It is intended to apply to the regular addition of
distilled water by the repairman and to tests made at the time the
water is added. Since the term "Inspection" might be Misinterpreted
and taken to apply to the opening of batteries for examination, the
term "Testing and Filling Service" should be used instead of "Free
Inspection Service."

Battery makers furnish cards for distribution to car owners. These
cards entitle the holder to bring in his battery every two weeks to
have distilled water added if necessary, and to have his battery
tested without paying for it. This service requires very little time,
and should be given cheerfully by every service man.

"Testing and Filling Service" is an excellent means of becoming
acquainted with car owners. Be as pleasant and courteous to the
"Testing and Filling" customer as you are to the man who brings in a
battery that needs repairs. For this customer will certainly give you
his repair business if you have been pleasant in giving the Testing
and Filling Service.

A thoroughly competent battery man should be put in charge of the
Testing and Filling Service, since this man must meet the car owners,
upon whom the service station depends for its income. Customers are
impressed, not by an imposing array of repair shop equipment, but by
the manner of the men who meet them. These men will increase the
number of your customers, or will drive trade to competitors,
depending on the impression they leave in the minds of the car owners.

Every service station owner should persuade all the car owners in the
vicinity of the station to come in regularly for the free testing and
filling service, and when they do come in they should be given
cheerful, courteous service. Each "testing" and "filling" customer is
a prospective paying customer, for it is entirely natural that a car
owner will give his repair work to the battery man who has been taking
care of the testing and filling work Oil his battery. When a new
battery is needed, the "testing" and "filling" customer will certainly
buy it from the man who has been relieving him of the work of keeping
his batteries in good shape.

Car owners who depend on your competitor for their "testing and
filling" service will not come to you when their battery needs
repairing, or when they need a new battery. You may be convinced that
you handle a better make of battery than your competitor does, but
your competitor's word will carry far more weight than yours with the
man who has been coming to him for testing and filling. Good testing
and filling service is, therefore, the best method of advertising and
building up your business. The cost of this service to you is more
than offset by the paying business it certainly brings, and by the
saving in money spent for advertising. Remember that a boost by a
satisfied customer is of considerably greater value to your business
than newspaper advertising.

A careful record should be kept of every battery which is brought in
regularly for testing and filling service. If a test shows that one or
more cells are low in gravity, say about 1.220, this fact should be
recorded. If the gravity is still low when the battery comes in again
for test, remove the battery and give it a bench charge. The customer
should, of course, pay for the bench charge and for the rental battery
which is put on the car in the meantime.

Battery manufacturers generally furnish cards to be used in connection
with the testing and filling service, such cards being issued to the
customers. A punch mark is made every time the battery is brought in,
If the owner neglects to come in, this is indicated by the absence of
a punch mark, and puts the blame for any trouble caused by this
neglect on the owner if any cell shows low gravity, a notation of
that fact may be made opposite the punch mark for the date on which
the low gravity was observed. If the low gravity is again found the
next time the battery is brought in, the battery should be removed and
given a bench charge. If the bench charge puts the battery in good
shape, and the subsequent gravity readings are high, no trouble is
present. If, however, the low gravity readings begin to drop off
again, it is probable that new separators are required, especially if
the battery is about a year old.

The logical course of events in the testing and filling service is to
keep the battery properly filled (at no cost to the customer), give
the battery an occasional bench charge (for which the customer pays),
reinsulate the battery when it is about a year old (for which the
customer pays), and sell the customer a new battery when the old one
is worn out. If some trouble develops during the lifetime of the
battery which is not due to lack of proper attention, the customer
should pay to have the repairs made. From this the battery man will
see how the Testing and Filling Service pays. The way to get business
is to have people come to your shop. Become acquainted with them,
treat them right, and you need not wonder where the money is to come


In order to run a repair shop in an orderly, business-like manner, it
is necessary to have an efficient system of Service Records. Such a
system will protect both the repairman and the customer, and simplify
the repairman's bookkeeping. For a small service station a very simple
system should be adopted. As the business grows, the service record
system must necessarily become more complicated, since each battery
will pass through several persons' hands. Battery manufacturers
generally furnish service record sheets and cards to their service
stations, and the repairman who has a contract with a manufacturer
generally adopts them. The manufacturers' service record systems are
often somewhat complicated, and require considerable bookkeeping.

For the smaller service station a single sheet or card is most
suitable, there being only one for each job, and carbon sheets and
copies being unnecessary. Such a service record has three essential
parts: (a) The customer's claim check. (b) The battery tag. (c) The
record card. Fig. 183 shows a service record card which is suitable
for the average repair shop. Part No. I is the customer's claim check,
Part No. 2 the battery tag, and part No. 3 the record card, and is 5
inches by 8 inches in size. The overall size of the entire card is 5
inches by 12 inches. Parts I and 2 are torn off along the perforated
lines marked (A).

When a battery comes in the three parts are given the same number to
identify them when they have been torn apart. The number may be
written in the "No." space shown on each part, or the numbers may be
stamped on the card. The record should not be made out as soon as a
customer comes in, but after the battery has been examined and tested
and the necessary work determined. Put the customer's name on parts 2
and 3. Record the address, telephone, etc., in the proper spaces on
part 3. Having determined by test and inspection what is to be done,
fill out the "WORKCOSTS" table on part 3, putting a check mark in the
first column to indicate the work to be done and the material needed.
Figure up the cost while the customer waits, if this is possible.
Explain the costs to the customer, and have him sign Contract No. 1.
If you do this there can never be any argument about the bill you hand
the customer later If the customer cannot wait, or if he is well known
to you and you know lie will not question your bill, have him sign
Contract No. 2. In either case, the terms printed on the back of the
card authorize the repairman to make whatever repairs he finds to be
necessary, and bind the customer to pay for them. Find out whether the
customer will call, whether you are to deliver the battery, or whether
you are to ship it, and put a check mark in the proper space at the
right of the "WORK-COSTS" table. Mark the battery with the chalk whose
color is indicated, and you will know how to dispose of the battery
when the repairs are completed.

Fill out the claim check and give it to the customer, tearing it off
along the perforated lines. Fill out the battery tag, indicating after
"Instructions" just what is to be done.

  [Fig. 183 Front & Back of the Battery Service Card]

Make a sketch of the top of the battery in the space provided, dip the
tag in the paraffine dip pot (see page 182) and tack the card on the
battery. File part 3 in a standard 5 by 8 card index file. To the
right of the "WORK-COSTS" table are spaces for entering the date on
which the work is completed, the date the customer is notified and the
date the battery goes out. These dates are useful in keeping a record
of the job. When the job is finished and the rental comes in, enter
the costs in the "COSTS" table, and note the date the bill was paid,
in the space marked "PAID."

  [Fig. 184 Rental battery card to be tied on car of customer]

File all the 5 by 8 cards (Part 3) in alphabetical order in a "dead"
ticket file, in either alphabetical or numerical order. With this file
you can build up an excellent mailing list of your customers. You can
note how many new customers you are securing and how many customers
are not coming back. The latter information is very valuable, as it
enables you to find out what customers have quit, and you can go after
them to get their repair business again.

When a rental is put on a card, the card shown in Fig. 184 may be tied
to the car where it is easily seen. This will serve as a reminder to
the customer and will help advertise your shop to those who ride in
the car.

Each rental battery should have a number painted on it in large white
letters, or should have attached to it at all times a lead tag on
which is stamped a number to identify the battery. To keep a record of
the rental batteries, a card or sheet similar to that shown in Fig.
185 may be used. Each time the rental is put on a car, a record is
made of this fact on the card. Each rental battery has its own card,
and reference to this card will show at once where the battery is.
Each card thus gives a record of the battery. The number of the rental
is also written on the Stock Card shown in Fig. 183, but the purpose
of putting the number on these cards is merely to make sure that the
battery is returned when the customer's battery is replaced on the car
and to be able to figure out the rental cost quickly and add it to the
time and material costs in repairing the customer's battery.

The Record Card shown in Fig. 183 does not help you locate any
particular rental battery. For instance, suppose that rental battery
No. 896 is out and you wish to know who is using it. You may, of
course, look over the "Battery Tags" which are tied to the batteries
which are being repaired in the shop, or you may examine the file
containing the record cards, but this would take too much time. But if
you refer to the rental file you can determine immediately where
rental battery No. 896 is, since the cards in this file should be
arranged numerically.

The rack on which rental batteries are placed should have a tag
bearing the same number as the rental battery tacked to the shelf
below the place provided for the battery. Each rental battery should
always be placed in the same place on the shelf. You can then tell at
a glance which batteries are out.

A good plan, and one which will save space, is to write the number of
the rental battery on the customer's claim check, and when repairs on
his own battery are completed, to set his battery in the place
provided on the rental rack for the rental which he is using. When he
comes in for his battery, you can tell at a glance whether his battery
is ready by looking at the place where the rental he is using is
normally placed on the rental rack. If a battery is there you will
know that it is his battery, and that it is ready for him.

  [Fig. 185 Rental Battery Stock Card]

You could, of course, look through the batteries on the "Ready Rack,"
but this would take more time, since the numbers of the batteries on
this rack will always be different, and you would have to look through
all the batteries on the "Ready Rack" before you would be able to tell
whether any particular battery were ready. By putting a customer's
battery in place of the rental he is using, you will have only one
place to look at in order to know whether his battery is ready.



Success in this day and age cannot be attained without a well
thought-out plan of action. There is no business which does not demand
some sort of system of management. The smallest business must have it,
and will go to ruin without it. Hence every battery service station
proprietor should see to it that his affairs are systematized --
arranged according to a carefully studied method. Most men look upon
"red-tape" with contempt and in the sense of a mere monotonous and
meaningless routine, it merits all the contempt poured upon it. Hard,
fast and iron-clad rules, which cease to be a means, and become an
end, prove a hindrance rather than a help. But an intelligent method,
which adapts itself to the needs of the business, is one of the most
powerful instruments of business. The battery man who despises it will
never do anything well. It does not matter how clever he is, how good
a workman he is, how complete his knowledge of batteries, if he
attempts to run his business without a plan, he will eventually come
to grief.

Purchasing Methods.

Every battery service station proprietor is eager to build up his
business, and improve the character of his trade, because this in turn
means that he will be assured of larger sales to a good class of
customers. And it is at once evident that there are a number of
requirements that affect this question of building up a business, one
of the first in importance being that of purchasing.

One of the first things with which the battery man is faced is the
question of what, where, and in what quantities to purchase. The
philosophy of correct purchasing consists in getting the right
materials, in proper quantities, at a low price, and with as little
cost for the doing of it as possible. The purchasing problem should be
a most interesting and important subject to the proprietor of every
service station, because the policy pursued with regard to purchasing
will not only largely govern the economy of all his expenditures,
except rent and payroll, but it will also control his selling
policies. Goods are sold, and services rendered only because some one
wants to buy. The customer's purchasing problems govern the
proprietor's selling problems. To sell properly, it is necessary to
meet the requirements of those who buy.

Correct purchasing is not merely a matter of "buying." The buying
itself has but little to do, after all, with the question of real
economy in this part of the business. The proprietor's purchasing
policy should not cease when the purchase order is

  [Fig. 186 Stock Record]

made out, but should continue after the goods have been delivered,
received and inspected. He should see that they are properly stored,
that they are put to the use intended, and that they are used
efficiently. This can be accomplished to good advantage by the use of
the Stock Record illustrated in Fig. 186.

When goods are received, each item should be entered on these Stock
Record cards, keeping in mind always that the requirements of a
"perpetual" or "going" inventory of this kind are that a separate
account be kept with each kind or class of stock, and not alone with
each class, but with each grade of each class.

For example, if a quantity of batteries were received, it would not
suffice to have one card only for the entire quantity, unless they
should happen to be all of the same type and make. It should be
understood that these cards are a record of all articles coming into
stock, and all articles going out of stock in the way of sales or
otherwise, with an individual card for each kind, grade, style or size
of stock carried on hand.

From the purchase invoices covering stock received, an entry is made
in the column headed "Received", to the proper account, showing date,
order number, quantity and price.

Each sales tag is used to make the entries in the columns headed
"Disbursed", in which the date, tag number, quantity, price, and the
balance quantity on hand are shown.

If this is done daily, for all the sales tags of the particular day,
and the cards on which the "disbursed" entries were made are kept
separate from the balance of the cards, it is an easy matter to arrive
at the cost of all sales for each day, The advantage of having this
daily information will be explained and illustrated in following

The Use and Abuse of Credit.

The question of the proper use of credit is closely allied with the
purchasing of goods. A great many business failures can be traced
directly to overexpanded credit. Any battery service station
proprietor who does not place a voluntary limit on the amount of
credit for which he asks is, to say the least, running a very great
business risk. The moment he expands his credit to the limit, he
leaves himself with no margin of safety, and a sudden change in
business conditions may place him in a serious situation.

Commercial agencies usually call this condition a lack of capital. The
real cause, however, is not so much lack of capital as it is too much
business on credit. This does not mean that credit should not be
sought; or that all business should be done on the capital actually
invested in the concern. Credit is necessary to commercial life. Very
few business concerns are so strong financially as to be able to do
without credit.

Credit should be sought and used intelligently, and it is not a hard
matter for any battery service station proprietor to keep his credit
good. All that is necessary is to take a few precautions, and observe
in general the principles of good business. The first requisite, of
course, is to accept no more credit than the business will stand.
Sometimes it is possible to secure enough credit to ruin a business.
Its present condition and future prospects may appear so good as to
warrant securing all the credit possible under the circumstances.

It requires courage to limit the growth and the temporary prosperity
of a business by keeping down the credit accepted. It is very hard to
refuse business. It is difficult not to make extensions when there is
enough business in sight to pay for the extensions. But the acid test
of whether or not you should extend and borrow is not the amount of
business that can be done, but the amount of money that can be spared.
The mere fact that you have the money or can get it does not in the
least mean that it should be spent.

And the reason for this is that, in order to keep your credit good,
you must meet all obligations promptly. Nothing has a more chilling
effect on any business than failure to meet all indebtedness when due.
As soon as additional time is requested in which to meet obligations,
your credit rating begins to contract; and if, at the same time, your
credit has been overexpanded the business is placed in a most
difficult position. More than one concern has gone to the wall when
faced with this combination.

Proper Bookkeeping Records.

The principal difficulty in this matter of the proper use of credit
will lie in poor bookkeeping records, making it impossible for the
proprietor to know very much about his financial position or operating
condition day by day and week by week and month by month.

Many service station proprietors figure what they owe once a year
only, when they inventory, and many do not keep a permanent record
even then; and usually those who are neglectful in this regard are the
ones who owe the most, proportionately, who do not take their
discounts, and who do not progress.

The following table covers the average discounts allowed in various
lines. If you study it, and find out how much it costs you to lose
discounts, you will at once realize the necessity for the proper sort
of bookkeeping records.

1. 1% cash, 30 days net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12%   per year
2. 2% cash, 30 days net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24%   per year
3. 3% cash, 30 days net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36%   per year
4. 5% cash, 30 days net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60%   per year
5. 8% cash, 30 days net . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96%   per year
6. 1% 10 days, 30 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18%   per year
7. 2% 10 days, 30 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36%   per year
8. 3% 10 days, 30 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54%   per year
9. 5% 10 days, 30 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90%   per year
10. 8% 10 days, 30 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144%   per year
11. 1% 10 days, 60 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  14.4% per year
12. 2% 10 days, 60 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  28.8% per year
13. 3% 10 days, 60 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  43.2% per year
14. 5% 10 days, 60 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  72%   per year
15. 8% 10 days, 60 days net. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115.2% per year

Then there is the matter of expenses; rent, wages, insurances, taxes,
depreciation, freight and express, and all the other miscellaneous
items that go to make up the total of your cost of doing business.
Expenses eat up a business unless controlled. They ought to be so
analyzed that you are able to place your finger on items which appear
too large, or uncalled for, or which need explanation.

A Daily Exhibit of Your Business.

In order to accomplish this, you ought to keep a record similar to
that shown by Fig. 187--a Daily Exhibit of your business.

The advantage of this record is that it will give any battery man
daily information as to the following facts of his business:

1. The amount of stock on hand.
2. The amount of gross profit.
3. The percentage of gross profit.

It will give monthly information as to:

1. The expense and percentage of expense.
2. The actual net profit.
3. The percentage of net profit.

Such information will help you to locate exactly when and where your
losses come; during what months and from what causes. It will enable
you to turn losing months this year into profitable months next year;
to tell whether your losses were due to a too great expense account,
or to too low gross profits.

The percentage columns on the sheet are the most important, because
only by percentages can you make proper comparisons, and know just how
your business is headed. You cannot guess percentages; you must have a
way of knowing continually what they are, in order to be certain of
getting the right return on your investment.

  [Fig. 187a "Daily Exhibit" form]

  [Fig. 187b "Daily Exhibit" form, continued]

In analyzing this Daily Exhibit, you will note that it is ruled for
five weeks and two extra days, in order to provide for any one and all
months of the year. The various columns are provided so that the
entries in them will give a clear-cut story of the actual state of
your affairs, daily, weekly, and monthly. Each column will be
considered in the order in which it appears on the form.

First Column--"Merchandise on Hand."
In starting this record the first day, the figures entered in this
column must be an actual physical inventory of your stock on hand,
priced and extended at cost. Do not total this column.

Second Column--"New Goods Added to Stock."
The figures entered in this column should be the total value of all
new goods received from manufacturers or jobbers on the particular
day. If you return any articles to the seller immediately upon
receipt, and before putting them into your stock, deduct such goods
from the invoices and enter only the net amount in this column. This
column should be totaled every week and every month.

Third Column--"Goods Returned by Customers;--Deduct from Sales."
The total value of all goods returned by customers extended at the
prices charged customers should be entered in this column daily. Every
week and every month this column is totaled.

Fourth Column--"Cost of Goods Returned;--Deduct from Cost of Goods
The cost of all goods returned by customers should be entered in this
column. The cost prices can always be secured from the Stock Record
cards, as previously explained. Total this column every week and every

Fifth Column--"Goods Returned to Manufacturers."
Sometimes there is occasion to return merchandise after it has been
put into stock. In such cases, the money value of the articles sent
back to manufacturers or jobbers should be entered in this column.
This does not mean such goods as were returned on the day received,
and were deducted from the seller's invoice, and at no time have
appeared in the second column, "New Goods Added to Stock," but only to
such merchandise as was originally entered in the second column, and
later returned to the manufacturer. This column should be totaled
every week and every month.

Sixth Column--"Goods Sold, Less Goods Returned."
Enter here total of selling prices on sales tags for each day, after
deducting amount in the third column. Total this column every week and
every month.

Seventh Oolumn--"Cost of Goods Sold, Less Cost of Goods Returned."
The total of the sales extended at cost prices for each day, minus the
amount showing in the fourth column, should be entered in this column.
It should be totaled every week and every month.

Eighth Column--"Gross Profits."
To arrive at the figures to be entered in this column deduct the
amount in the seventh column from the amount in the sixth column.
Total this column every week and every month.

Ninth Column--"Per Cent to Sales."
This percentage should be figured every day, and every week and every
month, and is arrived at by dividing the figures in the eighth column
by the figures in the sixth column. It will pay you to watch this
column closely. You will be astonished at the way it varies from day
to day, week to week, and month to month. If you watch it closely
enough, you will soon learn a great deal more about your business than
you ever knew before. You do not need to total this column.

Tenth Column--"Accounts Receivable."
On the day the Daily Exhibit is first started, the figures for this
column must be taken from whatever records you have kept in the past.
Do not total this column.

Eleventh Column--"Collections."
Every day you collect any money from those customers who run charge
accounts with you, enter the amount collected in this column. Total it
every week and every month.

Twelfth Column--"Cash Sales."
Every day enter the amount of cash sales in this column, and total it
every week and every month.

Thirteenth Column--"Charge Sales."
The amount of daily sales made to those customers who do not pay cash
but run a charge account should be entered in this column. Every week
and every month this column should be totaled.

General Calculations.
To arrive at the amount of "Merchandise on Hand" after the first day,
which is, as has been previously explained, an actual physical
inventory, add the amounts showing in the first and second columns,
and deduct from this total the sum of the fifth and seventh columns.
Enter this result in the first column for the next succeeding day.
Continue as above throughout the entire month.

After the first day the figures in "Accounts Receivable" column are
obtained by adding together the amounts showing in the tenth and
thirteenth column and deducting from this total the amount in the
eleventh column. This balance will be entered in the tenth column for
the next day, the same procedure being followed for each day

"Merchandise on Hand" after the close of business on the last day of
the month should be entered in the first column on the line marked
"Month Total." This same amount will be carried forward to the first
column of next month's sheet and entered on the line of the particular
day of the week on which the first of the month falls.

Following the "Month Total" are the "Year to Date" and "Last Year to
Date." These figures are important for purposes of comparison. Arrive
at total for "Year to Date" by adding the total for the present month
to the total for "Year to Date" found on the previous month's sheet.
The figures for "Last Year to Date" are taken directly from the sheet
kept for the same month last year. It is, of course, evident that this
cannot be done until one year's records have been completed.

Expenses and Profits.

Under the heading "Summary" at the bottom of the sheet, provision has
been made for finding out how much net profit YOU have made for the

On the line marked "Gross Profits" enter the "Month Total" figures in
the eighth column. Below this enter all the various items of expense
as follows:

(1) Advertising: By advertising is meant such copy, signs, etc., which
may be prepared and used for the purpose of keeping the public
informed as to your ability to serve them--in other words, any space
which is used for general publicity purposes, such as for instance,
your card in the classified telephone directory, or blotters, folders,
dodgers which you may have printed up and distributed.

Do not load this account with church programs, contributions to the
ball team, tickets to the fireman's ball and the like. These are
donations, and not advertising.

(2) Electricity: All bills for electrical current will be charged to
this account.

(3) Freight: Charges for all freight and express will be made to this

(4) Insurance: The total yearly insurance should be divined by twelve,
to obtain the amount to be charged to this account monthly.

(5) Proprietor's salary: Many battery service station proprietors do
not charge their own living as an expense. That's a serious mistake,
of course. If those same men should hire a manager to run their
service station, the manager's salary would naturally be charged to
expense. The amount of money withdrawn from the business by the
proprietor should therefore be charged to expense.

(6) Rent: The amount of money you pay monthly for rent should be
charged to this account. If, on the other hand, you own your own
building, charge the business with rent, the same as if you were
paying it to someone else. Every business should stand rent; besides,
the building itself should show itself a profitable investment. Charge
yourself just as much as you would anyone else; don't favor your
business by undercharging, nor handicap it by overcharging.

(7) Supplies: The cost of all supplies, small tools and miscellaneous
articles which are bought for use in the business and not for sale
should be charged to this account.

(8) Taxes: The yearly amount of taxes paid should be divided by
twelve, in order to arrive at the monthly proportion to be charged to
this account.

(9) Wages: The amount of wages paid to employees should be charged to
this account. Care should be taken to determine the actual amount for
the month, if wages are paid on a daily or weekly wage rate.

(10) Miscellaneous: Any expenses of the business not listed above will
be charged to this account. This may include such items as donations,
loss on bad accounts, and such like items of expense. You may itemize
these into as many headings as you desire, but for the purposes of the
Daily Exhibit combine all of them under "Miscellaneous Expense."

All these expense items are then added together, and this total is
entered on the line marked "Total Expenses."

Deduct "Total Expenses" from "Gross Profit" to arrive at "Net Profit."

To arrive at the totals for "This Year to Date," carry the figures
forward from the previous month's sheet and add figures for present

The figures for "Last Year to Date" will be found on the sheet for the
corresponding month of last year, and are copied in this column.

All percentages should be figured on sales. The figures shown on each
line in the "Amount" columns under the headings "This Month," "This
Year to Date" and "Last Year to Date" should be divided by the "Month
Total" of the sixth column, shown above, i. e., "Goods Sold, Less
Goods Returned."

When you take inventory, the amount of stock should equal "Merchandise
on Hand," as shown by the Daily Exhibit. But there will generally be a
discrepancy, varying with the size of your stock, and that discrepancy
will represent the amount of goods gone out of your station without
being paid for; sold for cash and not accounted for; sold on credit
and not charged, and the like. It's worth something to know exactly
what this amounts to. The place for this information is under
"Inventory Variations" on the sheet.

The space headed "Accounts Payable" is provided for recording, on the
last day of every month, just what you owe for accounts and for notes,
and also the same information for the corresponding date of last year.

Invaluable Monthly Comparative Information.

You see now that by the use of the Daily Exhibit you have a running
history of your business by days, weeks and months. But this is hardly
sufficient for a clear view of your business, since you will want some
record which will tell you what the year's business has been, and how
it varied from month to month.

  [Fig. 188. Statistical and Comparative Record]

This is provided for in the Statistical and Comparative Record,
illustrated by Fig. 188, on which the amount of sales, cost of sales,
gross profit, expenses and net profit are entered for each month of
the year. All the figures for entry in this record are taken directly
from the Daily Exhibit at the end of the month, which makes the work
of compiling it a very easy task.

The advantages of a record of this kind can hardly be overstated. The
figures in the upper part of this statement will show which months
have been profit payers and which have not, while from the figures in
the lower part of the report you are able to determine the percentage
any group of expenses bears to sales, and are thus in position to
subsequently control such items.

Do not let the fear of doing a little bookkeeping work prevent you
from keeping these records. They should go a long way toward solving
the problems which the average proprietor faces today:

1. Selling his goods and services without a profit.
2. Failure to show sufficient net profit at the end of the year.
3. Constantly increasing cost of doing business.

You may think at first glance that it will require a great deal of
extra work to keep these records, but in this you are mistaken. They
are very simple and easy to operate. The American Bureau of
Engineering, Inc., will advise you where to obtain these forms.



When a man does not feel well, he visits a doctor. When he has trouble
on his car, he takes the car to a service station. What connection is
there between these two cases? None whatever, you may say. And yet in
each instance the man is seeking service. The term "Service Station"
generally suggests a place where automobile troubles are taken care
of. That does not mean, however, that the term may not be used in
other lines of business. The doctor's office is just as much a
"Service Station" as the automobile repair shop. The one is a "Health
Service Station" and the other is an "Automobile Service Station." The
business of each is to eliminate trouble.

The battery repairman may think that he cannot learn anything from a
doctor which will be of any use to his battery business, but, as a
matter of fact, the battery man can learn much that is valuable from
the doctor's methods of handling trouble. The doctor greets a patient
courteously and always waits for him to tell what his symptoms are. He
then examines the patient, asking questions based on what the patient
tells him, to bring out certain points which will help in making an
accurate diagnosis. Very often such questioning will enable the doctor
to determine just what the nature of the illness is. But he does not
then proceed to write out a prescription without making an
examination. If he did, the whole case might just as well have been
handled over the telephone. No competent physician will treat patients
from a distance. Neither will he write out a prescription without
making a physical examination of the patient. The questioning of the
patient and the physical examination always go together, some
questions being asked before an examination is made to give an
approximate idea of what is wrong and some during the examination to
aid the doctor in making an accurate diagnosis.

The patient expects a doctor to listen to his description of the
symptoms and to be guided by them in the subsequent examination, but
not to arrive at a conclusion entirely by the description of the
symptoms. A patient very often misinterprets his pains and aches, and
tells the doctor that he has a certain ailment. Yet the doctor makes
his examination and determines what the trouble is, and frequently
find a condition which is entirely different from what the patient
suspected. He then prescribes a treatment based on his own conclusions
and not on what the patient believes to be wrong.

Calling for Batteries. A doctor treats many patients in his office,
but also makes his daily calls on others. Similarly, the battery
repairman should have a service truck for use in calling for
customers' batteries, especially where competition is keen. Some car
owners cannot bring their cars to the repair shop during working
hours, and yet if they knew that they could have their battery called
for and have a rental battery installed, they would undoubtedly have
their battery tested and repaired more frequently. In some instances a
battery will be so badly run down that the car cannot be started, and
the car is allowed to stand idle because the owner does not care to
remove his battery, carry it to a service station and carry a rental
battery with him. Batteries are heavy and generally dirty and wet with
acid, and few people wish to run the risk of ruining their clothes by
carrying the battery to a shop. The wise battery mail will not
overlook the business possibilities offered by the call for and
deliver service, especially when business is slow. A Ford roadster
with a short express body will furnish this service, or any old
chassis may be fitted up for it at a moderate cost. Of course, you
must advertise this service. Do not wait for car owners to ask whether
you will call for their batteries. Many of them may not think of
telephoning for such service, and even if they do, they might call up
some other service station.

When Batteries Come In

What does a man expect when he brings his battery to the battery
service-station? Obviously lie expects to be greeted courteously and
to be permitted to tell the symptoms of trouble which he has observed.
He furthermore expects the repairman to examine and test the battery
carefully before deciding what repairs are necessary and not to tell
him that he needs new positives, new separators, or an entirely new
battery without even looking at the battery.

When a car is brought to your shop, you are the doctor. Sonic part of
the mechanism is in trouble, and it is your duty to put yourself in
charge of the situation. Listen to what the customer hp to say. He has
certainly noticed that something is wrong, or he would not have come
to you. Ask him what he has observed.

He has been driving the car, starting the engine, and turning on the
lights, and certainly has noticed whether everything has been
operating as it should. The things he has noticed were caused by the
trouble which exists. He may not know what sort of trouble they
indicate, but you, as the battery doctor can generally make a fairly
accurate estimate of what the trouble is. You should, of course, do
more than merely listen to what the customer says. You can question
him as to how the car has been used, just as the doctor, after
listening to what a patient has to say, asks questions to give him a
clue to what has caused such symptoms.

The purpose of the preliminary questioning and examination is not
merely to make an accurate diagnosis of the troubles, but to establish
a feeling of confidence on the part of the customer. A man who owns a
car generally possesses an average amount of intelligence and likes to
have it recognized and respected. Your questioning and examination
will either show the customer that you know your business and know
what should be done, or it will convince him that you are merely
putting up a bluff to hide your ignorance.

What the customer wants to know is how much the repairs will cost,
and how soon lie may have his battery again. Estimate carefully what
the work, will cost, and tell him. If a considerable amount of work is
required and you cannot estimate how much time and material will be
needed, tell the customer that you will let him know the approximate
cost later, when you have gone far enough with the work to be able to
make an estimate. If you find that the battery should be taken off,
take it off without any loss of time and put on a rental battery. If
there is something wrong outside of the battery, however, it will be
necessary to eliminate the trouble before the car leaves the
shop, otherwise the same battery trouble will occur again. If there is
no actual trouble outside the battery, and if the driving conditions
have been such that the battery is not charged sufficiently while on
the car, no actual repairs are necessary on the electrical system. The
customer should be advised to drive in about every two weeks to have
his battery tested, and occasionally taken off and given a bench
charge. It is better to do this than to increase the charging rate to
a value which might damage the generator or battery.

Adopt a standard method of procedure in meeting, a customer and in
determining what is wrong and what should be done. If the customer is
one who brings his car in regularly to have the battery filled and
tested, you will: be able to detect any trouble as soon as it occurs,
and will be able to eliminate it before the battery is seriously
damaged. A change in the charging rate, cleaning of the generator
commutator or cutout contact points, if done in time, will often keep
everything in good shape.

With a new customer who has had his battery for sometime, you must,
however, ask questions and make tests to determine what is wrong.
Before sending the customer away with a new, rental, or repaired
battery, test the electrical system as described on page 276.

The most important transaction and one which will save you
considerable argument and trouble is to get everything down in black
and white. Always try to have the customer wait while you test the
battery. If you find it necessary to open the battery do this in his
presence. When he leaves there should be no question as to what he
shall have to pay for. If more time is required to determine the
necessary work, do not actually do the work without getting in touch
with the owner and making a written agreement as to what is to be done
and how much the cost will be. The Service Record shown in Fig. 183
may be used for this purpose.

The following method of procedure is suggested as a standard. Follow
it closely if possible, though in some cases, where the nature of the
trouble is plainly evident, this will not be necessary any more than a
doctor who sees blood streaming from a severe cut needs to question
the patient to find out what is wrong.

It may not always be necessary to ask all the questions which follow,
or to ask them in the order given, but they cover points which the
repairman should know in order to work intelligently. Some of the
information called for in the questions may often be obtained without
questioning the customer. Do not, however, hesitate to ask any and all
questions covering points which you wish to know.

1. Greet the customer with a smile.

Your manner and appearance are of great importance. Be polite and
pleasant. Do not lose your temper, no matter how much cause the
customer gives you to do so. A calm, courteous manner will generally
cool the anger of an irate customer and make it possible to gain his
confidence and good will. Do not argue with your customers, Your
business is to get the job and do it in an agreeable manner. If you
make mistakes admit it and your customer will come again. Keep your
clothes neat and clean and have your face and hands clean. Remember
that the first glimpse the customer has of the man who approaches him
will influence him to a very considerable extent in giving you his
business or going elsewhere. Do not have a customer wait around a long
time before he receives any attention. If he grows impatient because
nobody notices him when he comes in, it will be hard to gain his
confidence, no matter how well you may afterwards do the work.

2. What's the Trouble?

Let the customer tell you his story. While listening, try to get an
idea of what may be wrong. When he has given you all the information
he can, question him so that you will be able to get a better idea of
what is wrong.

(a) How long have you had the battery? See page 242.

(b) Was it a new battery when you bought it?

(c) How often has water been added?

(d) Has distilled water been used exclusively, or has faucet, well, or
river water ever been used? Impure water may introduce substances
which will damage or even ruin a battery.

(e) Has too much water been added? If this is done, the electrolyte
will flood the tops of the jars and may rot the upper parts of the
wooden case.

(f) How fast is car generally driven? The speed should average 15 M.
P. H. or more to keep battery charged.

(g) How long must engine be cranked before it starts? This should not
require more than about 10 seconds. If customer is in doubt, start the
engine to find out. If starting motor cranks engine at a fair speed,
engine should start within 10 seconds. If starting motor cranks engine
at a low speed, a longer cranking time may be required. The low
cranking speed may be due to a run-down or defective battery, to
trouble in the starting motor or starting circuit, or to a stiff
engine. To determine if battery is at fault, see "Battery Tests,"

(h) Has the car been used regularly, or has it been standing idle for
any length of time? An idle battery discharges itself and often
becomes damaged. If car has been standing idle in cold weather, the
battery has probably been frozen.

(i) Has it been necessary to remove the battery occasionally for a
bench charge?

(j) Has battery ever been repaired? See page 322.

Battery Tests

1. Remove the vent plugs and inspect electrolyte. If the electrolyte
covers the plates and separators to a sufficient depth, measure the
specific gravity of the electrolyte. If the electrolyte is below the
tops of the plates and separators, see following section No. 2.

If all cells read 1.150 or less, remove the battery and give it a
bench charge.

If the specific gravity readings of all cells are between 1.150 and
1.200, and if no serious troubles have been found up to this point,
advise the owner to use his lights and starting motor as little as
possible until the gravity rises to 1.280-1.300. If this is not
satisfactory to him, remove the battery and give it a bench charge.

If the specific gravity readings are all above 1.200, or if the
gravity reading of one cell is 50 points (such as the difference
between 1.200 and 1.250, which is 50 "points") lower or higher than
the others (no matter what the actual gravity readings may be), make
the 15 seconds high rate discharge test on the battery. See page 266.
If this test indicates that the internal condition of the battery is
bad, the battery should be removed from the car and opened for
inspection. If the test indicates that the internal condition of the
battery is good, the specific gravity of the electrolyte needs
adjusting. The difference in specific gravity readings in the cells is
due to one of the following, causes:

(a) Water added to the cell or cells which have low gravity to replace
electrolyte which had been spilled or lost in some other manner.

(b) Electrolyte added to the cell or cells which have high gravity to
replace the water which naturally evaporates from the electrolyte.

(c) Trouble inside the cell or cells which have low gravity. The high
rate discharge test will show whether there is any internal trouble.

If any cell shows a gravity above 1.300, remove the battery, dump out
all the electrolyte, fill battery with distilled water and put the
battery on charge.

If the gravity of one or more cells is 50 points less than the others,
water has been used to replace electrolyte which has been spilled or
lost in some other manner, or else one or more jars are cracked. A
battery with one or more cracked jars usually has the bottom parts of
its wooden case rotted by the electrolyte which leaks from the jar. If
you are not certain whether the battery has one or more cracked jars,
see that the electrolyte covers the plates in all the cells one-half
inch or so, and then let the battery stand. If the electrolyte sinks
below the tops of the plates in one or more cells within twenty-four
hours, those cells have leaky jars and the battery must be opened, and
new jars put in.

If the low gravity is not caused by leaky jars, give the battery a
bench charge and adjust the level of the electrolyte.

2. If you found electrolyte to be below tops of plates in all the
cells, the battery has been neglected, or there mail be leaky jars.
Add distilled water until the electrolyte covers the plates to a
depth of about one-half inch.

(a) If it requires only a small amount of water to bring up the level
of the electrolyte, remove the battery and give it a bench charge. See
page 198. Only a brief charge may be necessary. Ask the driver when
water was added last. If more than 1 month has passed since the last
filling, the upper parts of the plates may be sulphated, and the
battery should be charged at a low rate.

(b) If it requires a considerable amount of water to bring up the
level of the electrolyte, and the bottom of the wooden battery case
shows no signs of being rotted, the battery has been neglected and has
been dry for a long time, and the plates are mostly likely badly
damaged. Open the battery for inspection.

(c) If only one cell requires a considerable amount of water to bring
up the level of its electrolyte, and the bottom of the wooden battery
ease shows no sign of being rotted, that cell is probably "dead," due
to in internal short-circuit. To test for "dead" cells, turn on the
lamps and measure the voltage of each cell. A dead cell will not give
any voltage on test, may give a reversed voltage reading, or at the
most will give a very low voltage. A battery with a dead cell should
be opened for inspection.

(d) If the bottom part of the wooden battery case is rotted, and a
considerable amount of water had to be added to any or all cells to
bring up the level of the electrolyte, the battery has leaky jars and
must be opened to have the leaky jars replaced by good ones.

If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether any or all jars are
leaking, fill the cells with distilled water and let the battery stand
for twelve to twenty-four hours. If at or before the end of that time
the electrolyte has, fallen below the tops of the plates in any or all
cells, these cells have leaky Jars and the battery must be opened and
the leaky jars replaced with good ones. The electrolyte which leaks
out will wet the bench or on which the battery is placed and this is
another indication of a leaky jar.

General Inspection

In addition to the tests which have been described, a general
inspection as outlined below will often be a great help in deciding
what must be done.

1. Is battery loose? A battery which is not held down firmly may have
broken jars, cracked sealing compound around posts or between posts
and separators, and active material shaken out of the grids. There may
also be corrosion at the terminals.

2. Are cables loose? This will cause battery to be in a run down
condition and cause failure to crank engine.

3. Is there corrosion at the terminals? This will cause battery to be
in a run-down condition and cause failure to start engine. Corrosion
is caused by electrolyte attacking terminals. A coating of vaseline on
the terminals prevents corrosion.

4. Is top of battery wet? This may be due to addition of too much
water, overheating of battery, cracks around posts and between posts
and cover, electrolyte thrown out of vents because of battery being
loose, or electrolyte or water spilled on battery. Such a condition
causes battery to run down.

5. Is top of case acid soaked? This is caused by leaks around posts or
between covers and jars, flooding of electrolyte due to overheating or
due to addition of too much water, or by electrolyte spilled on covers.

6. Is lower part of case acid soaked? This is caused by leaky jars.

7. Are ends of case bulged out? This may be due to battery having been

This general inspection of the battery can be made in a few seconds,
and often shows what the condition of the battery is.

Operation Tests

Two simple tests may be made which will help considerably in the

Turn on the lights. If they burn dim, battery is run down (and may be
defective) and battery needs bench charge or repairs. If they burn
bright battery is probably in a good condition.

With the lights burning, have the customer or a helper step on the
starting switch. If the lights now become very dim, the battery is run
down (and may also be defective), or else the starting motor is
drawing too much current from the battery.

Trouble Charts

For the convenience of the repairman, the battery troubles which may
be found when a car is brought in, are summarized in the following

All Cells Show Low Gravity or Low Voltage

A. Look for the following conditions:

1. Loose or dirty terminals or cell connectors. This may reduce
charging rate, or open charging circuit entirely. Remedy: Tighten and
clean connections.

2. Corrosion on terminals or cell connectors caused by acid on top of
battery due to over-filling, flooding, defective sealing, lead scraped
from lead-coated terminals, and copper wires attached directly to
battery. A badly corroded battery terminal may cause the generator,
ignition coil, and lamps to burn out because of the high resistance
which the corroded terminal causes in the charging line. It may reduce
charging rate, or open charging circuit entirely. Remedy: Remove cause
of corrosion. Clean corroded parts and give coating of vaseline.

3. Broken terminals or cell connectors. These may reduce charging rate
or open charging circuit entirely. Remedy: Install new parts.

4. Generator not charging. Remedy: Find and remove cause of generator
not charging (see page 284).

5. Charging rate too low. Remedy: If due to generator trouble, repair
generator. If due to incorrect generator setting change setting. If
due to driving conditions increase charging rate.

6. Acid or moisture on top of battery due to defective sealing,
flooding, spilling electrolyte in taking gravity readings, loose vent
plugs. This causes corrosion and current leakage. Remedy: Find and
remove cause.

7. Tools or wires on battery causing short-circuits. Remedy: Tell
customer to keep such things off the battery.

8. Short-circuits or grounds in wiring. Remedy: Repair wiring.

9. Cutout relay closing late, resulting in battery not being charged
at ordinary driving speeds. Remedy: Check action of cutout. See page

10. Excessive lighting current, due to too many or too large lamps.
Remedy: Check by turning on all lamps while engine is running. Ammeter
should show three to five amperes charge with lamps burning. In winter
the charging rate may have to be increased.

B. Question Driver as to following causes of low gravity and low

1. Has water been added regularly?

2. Has impure water, such as faucet, well, or river water ever been
added to battery?

3. Has too much water been added?

4. Has electrolyte been spilled and replaced by water?

5. Has battery been idle, or stored without regular charging?

6. Is car used more at night than in daytime? Considerable night
driving may prevent battery from being fully charged.

7. Is starter used frequently?

8. What is average driving speed? Should be over 15 M. P. 11.

9. How long is engine usually cranked before starting-? Cranking
period should not exceed 10 seconds.

C. If battery has been repaired. The trouble may be due to:

1. Improperly treated separators used.

2. Grooved side of separators put against negatives instead of

3. Separator left out.

4. Cracked separator.

5. Positives used which should have been discarded.

6. Bulged, swollen negatives used.

7. Poor joints due to improper lead-burning.

D. Battery Troubles which may exist:

1. Sulfated plates.

2. Buckled Plates.

3. Internal Short-circuits.

4. Cracked Jars.

5. Clogged Separators.

Gravity Readings Unequal

1. Acid or moisture on top of battery, due to defective sealing,
flooding, spilling electrolyte, loose vent plugs. This causes current
leakage. Remedy: Find and remove cause.

2. Tools or wires on battery, causing short-circuits. Remedy: Tell
driver to keep such things off the battery.

3. Electrolyte or acid added to cells giving the high gravity readings.

4. Electrolyte spilled and replaced by water in cells giving low

5. Grooved side of separators placed against negatives in cells giving
the low readings.

6. Separator left out, cracked separator used, hole worn through
separator by buckled plate or swollen negatives, or separators in
some cells and new ones in others.

7. Old plates used in some cells and new ones in others.

8. Impurities in cells showing low gravity.

9. Shorted cell, due to plates cutting through separators.

10. Cracked jar.

11. Oil some of the older cars a three wire lighting system was used.
If the lights are arranged so that more are connected between one of
the outside wires and the center, than between the other outside wire
and the center, the cells carrying the heavier lighting load will show
low gravity.

12. On some of the older cars, the battery is made of two or more
sections which are connected in series for starting and in parallel
for charging. Oil such cars the cells in one of the sections may show
lower gravity than other cells due to longer connecting cables, poor
connections, corroded terminals, and so on. Such a condition AN-ill
often be found in the old two section Maxwell batteries used previous
to 1918.

High Gravity

This is a condition in which the hydrometer readings would indicate
that a battery is almost or fully-charged, but the battery may fail to
operate the starting motor. If the lights are burning while the
starting switch is closed, they will become very dim. The gravity
readings may be found to be above 1.300.

The probable causes of this condition are:

1. Electrolyte or concentrated acid added instead of water.

2. One of the numerous "dope" solutions which have been advertised
extensively within the past two years. Never use them. If customer
admits having used such a "dope" warn him not to do so again.

Low Electrolyte

Probable Causes:

1. Water not added.

2. Electrolyte replaced in wrong cell after taking gravity readings.

3. Cracked jars.

4. Battery overcharged, causing loss of water by overheating and
excessive gassing.

Probable Results:

1. Sulfated Plates.

2. Carbonized, dry, cracked separators.

3. Considerable shedding.

Battery Overheats

Probable Causes:

1. Water not added regularly.

2. Impure water used.

3. Impure acid used.

4. Battery on hot place on car.

5. Alcohol or other anti-freeze preparation added.

6. Excessive charging rate.

7. Improperly treated separators.

8. Battery over-charged by long daylight runs.

Probable Results:

1. Sulfated Plates.

2. Burned, Carbonized Separators.

3. Buckled Plates.

4. Excessive Shedding.

Electrolyte Leaking Out at Top

Probable Causes:

1. Too much water added.

2. Battery loose in box.

3. Cracks in sealing compound due to poor sealing, or cables pulling
on terminals, or due to poor quality of sealing compound, or good
quality compound which has been burned.

4. Vent plugs loose.

Probable Results:

1. Upper portion of case rotted by acid.

2. Electrolyte low.

3. Plates sulphated.

4. Upper parts of separators dry.


1. When May a Battery Be Left on the Car?

(a) When you find that the specific gravity of all cells is more than
1.150, the voltage of each cell is at least 2, the voltage doe's not
drop when the lights are turned on, or the lights do not become very
dim when the engine is cranked with the starting motor, there are no
loose terminals or connectors, the sealing compound is not broken or
cracked so as to cause a "slopper," the electrolyte covers the plates,
the box is not rotted by acid, and there are no broken jars.

These conditions will exist only if battery has been well taken care
of, and some trouble has suddenly and recently arisen, such as caused
by a break in one of the battery cables, loosening of a cable
connection at the battery or in the line to the starting motor.

2. When Should a Battery Be Removed From Car?

(a) When you find broken sealing compound, causing the battery to be a

(b) When you find inter-cell connectors and terminals loose, corroded,
or poorly burned on.

(c) When you find box badly rotted by acid, or otherwise defective.

(d) When you find a cracked jar, indicated by lower part of case being
acid soaked, or by low electrolyte, or find that electrolyte level
falls below the tops of the plates soon after adding water.

(e) When you find a dead cell, indicated by very low or no voltage,
even on open circuit.

(f) When specific gravity of electrolyte is less than 1.150, or
gravity readings of cells vary considerably.

(g) When battery voltage drops to about 1.7 or less per cell when
lamps are turned on, or lamps become very dim when the starting motor
is cranking the engine, or the high rate discharge test shows that
there is trouble in the cells.

(h) When you find that electrolyte is below tops of plates, and it
requires considerable water to bring it up to the correct height.

(i) When battery overheats on charge, or discharge, although battery
is not located in hot place, charging rate is not too high and lamps
and accessories load is normal.

(j) When battery is more than a year old and action is not

(k) When a blacksmith, tinsmith or plumber has tried his hand at
rebuilding the battery. Such a battery is shown in Fig. 189.

(1) When ends of care are bulged out.

3. When Is It Unnecessary to Open a Battery?

(a) When the only trouble is broken sealing compound. The battery
should be resealed.

(b) When loose, corroded, or poorly burned on terminals and connectors
have merely resulted in keeping battery only partly charged and no
internal troubles exist. The remedy is to drill off the connectors, or
terminals, and re-burn them.

(c) When the external condition of battery is good, and a bench
charge, see page 198 (with several charge and discharge cycles if
necessary) puts battery in a good condition, as indicated by voltage,
cadmium, and 20 minute high rate discharge test.

4. When Must a Battery Be Opened?

(a) When prolonged charging (72 hours or more) will not cause gravity
or voltage to rise. Such trouble is due to defective plates and

(b) When battery case is badly acid soaked. A slightly acid soaked
case need not be discarded, but if the damage caused by the acid has
been excessive, a new case is needed. Plates may also be damaged.

(c) When one or more jars are cracked. New jars are needed. The plates
may also be damaged.

(d) When one or more cells are "dead," as indicated by little or no
voltage, even on open circuit. New plates (positives at least) may be

(e) When battery is more than a year old and action is unsatisfactory.
(Battery will not hold its charge.) Battery may have to be junked, or
new separators may be required. Every battery should be reinsulated at
least once during its lifetime.

(f) When a blacksmith, tinsmith, or plumber have tried to repair a
case, Fig. 189.

  [Fig. 189. A Blacksmith and Tinsmith Tried Their Hands on This Case,
  Lower Part Enclosed in Tin, Strap Iron, Covered with Friction Tape,
  Around The Top]

(g) When the ends of case are bulged. A new case is needed. If the
battery has been frozen it should generally be junked. There are some
cases on record of a frozen battery having been thawed out and put in
serviceable condition by a long charge at a low rate followed by
several cycles of discharge and recharge. Generally, at least, a new
case, jars, and positives are required.

NOTE: New separators should always be installed, whenever a battery is
opened for repairs, unless the separators already in the battery are
new, and the trouble for which the battery was opened consists of a
leaky jar, a separator left out, or some other trouble which does not
require pulling the plates out of mesh.



How to Open a Battery

  [Fig. 190 Battery to be opened]

A battery is open when its plates have been drawn out of the hard
rubber jars. All parts are then exposed, and accessible for inspection
and repairs. In an assembled battery, the top of each cell is closed
by a hard rubber cover. Leakproof joints are made between these covers
and the rubber jars and the wooden case by means of sealing compound
which is poured in place while in a molten condition, and joins the
covers to the jars and which hardens as it cools. The joints between
the covers and the posts which project through the covers are in many
batteries made with sealing compound. The cells are then connected to
each other by means of the cell connectors, also called
"top-connectors," or simply "connectors." These connectors are joined
to the lead posts, to which are connected the plate groups by fusing
with a flame, and melting in additional lead to make a joint.

In opening a battery, we must first disconnect the cells from each
other, and then open the joint made by the sealing compound between
the covers and the jars and case. The plates may then be lifted out of
the jars, and the battery is open. The steps necessary to open a
battery follow, in the order in which they must be taken.

1. Clean the Battery. Set the battery on the tear down rack. See that
the vent plugs are all tight in place. Then clean the outside of the
battery. Remove the greater part of the dirt with a brush, old
whisk-broom, or a putty knife. Then put the battery in the water,
using a stiff bristled brush to remove whatever dirt was not removed
in the first place. A four-inch paint brush is satisfactory for this
work, and will last a year or more if taken care of. If water will not
remove all the dirt, try a rag wet with gasoline.

2. Drilling Off the Connectors and Terminals. When you have cleaned
the outside of the battery as thoroughly as possible, set the battery
on the floor near your work bench. Make a sketch of the top of the
battery, showing the exact arrangement of the terminals and
connectors. This sketch should be made on the tag which is tied to the
battery. Tic this tag on the handle near the negative terminal of the
battery or tack it to the ease. Then drill down over the Center of the
posts. For this you will need a large brace with a heavy chuck, a
drill the same size as the post (the part that goes down into the
battery), a large screw driver, a center punch, and a hammer.

  [Fig. 191 Drilling post and cell connector]

With the center punch, mark the exact centers of the tops of the posts
and connectors. Then drill down about half way through the connectors
and terminals until you cut through the part of the connector which is
welded to the post. When you can see a seam between the post and
connector you have drilled through the welded part. See Figs. 191 and

Now pry off the connectors with the screw driver, as shown in Fig.
193. Lay a flat tool such as a chisel or file on the top edge of the
ease to avoid damaging the ease when prying off the connectors.

If any connector is still tight, and you cannot pry it off with a
reasonable effort, drill down a little deeper, and it will come off
easily, provided that the hole which you are drilling is exactly over
the center of the post and as large as the post. There are five things
to remember in drilling the connectors and posts:

  [Fig. 192 Connector drilled to correct depth]

(a) Be sure that the hole is exactly over the center of the post.

(b) Do not drill too deep. Make each hole just deep enough so that the
connector will come off easily. Fig. 192 shows a cross section of a
post and connector drilled to the proper depth. Notice that you need
not drill down the whole depth of the connector, because the bottom
part is not burned to the post.

(c) Be sure that the drill makes the right sized hole to permit the
connectors and terminals to be removed easily when drilled half way
through. An electric drill will do the work much faster than a hand

(d) Protect the edge of the battery box when you pry up the connectors
with a screw driver.

(e) Remove your drill after the hole is well started and see whether
the hole is in the center of the post. Should you find that it is off
center, tilt the drill, and with the end of the drill pointing the
center of the post as you drill, gradually straighten the drill. This
will bring the hole over the center of the post.

Having removed the connectors, sweep all the lead drillings front the
top of the battery into a box kept for lead drillings only. Fig. 194.
When this box is full, melt the drillings and pour off in the burning
lead mould.

  [Fig. 193 Prying off cell connector]

Post Seal. If the post seal consists of a lead sealing nut, this may
be removed now. With some types of batteries (Willard and U. S. L.),
drilling the connectors also breaks the post seal. With other
batteries, such as the Vesta, Westinghouse, Prest-0-Lite, Universal,
it is more difficult to break the post seal.

  [Fig. 194 Brushing lead drillings into box]

On these batteries, therefore, do not break this seal before drawing
out the plates. You may find that it will not be necessary to separate
the groups, and the post seal will not have to be broken at all,
thereby saving yourself considerable time on the overhauling job.

3. Heating Up the Sealing Compound. Having disconnected the cells from
each other by removing the cell connectors, the next step is to open
the joint made by the sealing compound between the covers and jars.
Fig. 195 shows the battery ready for this step. When cold, the
compound is a tough substance that sticks to the cover and jar, and
hence it must be heated until it is so soft that it is easily removed.
There are several methods by means of which compound may be heated.
These are as follows:

Steam. This is the most popular, and undoubtedly the best means of
heating the compound, and in the following instructions it will be
assumed that steam has been used. The battery is either placed in a
special box in which steam is sent, or else steam is sent directly
into each cell through the vent tube. In the first method the compound
is heated from the outside, and in the second it is heated from the
inside of the cell.

  [Fig. 195 Battery ready for steaming]

  [Fig. 196 Drawing up an element]

If the battery is placed in the steaming box, about ten minutes will
be required for the steam to heat up the sealing compound. For
batteries which use but very little compound, less time is required.
if steam is sent directly into the cells through the vent tubes, five
to seven minutes will generally be enough. The covers must be limp and
the 1 compound must be soft before turning off the steam.

Hot Water. The electrolyte is poured out of the battery, which is then
inverted in a vessel of hot water. This method is slower than the
others, and is more expensive because it requires a larger volume of
water to be heated.

Hot Putty Knife and Screwdriver. The compound may be dug out with a
hot putty knife. This is a slow, unsatisfactory method in most
instances, especially in those batteries which use a considerable
amount of sealing compound. With some batteries using only a small
quantity of compound, a heated putty knife may be run around the
inside of the jar between the jar and the cover. This will break the
joint between the cover and the jar, and allow the plates to be lifted
out. The compound is then scraped from covers and inside of jars,
heating the knife or screwdriver whenever it cools off.

Lead Burning Flame. Any soft lead burning flame may be used. Such a
flame may be adjusted to any desired size. Where steam is available, a
flame should, however, never be used. The temperature of the flame is
very high, and the covers, jars, case, posts, and vent plugs may be
burned and made worthless. Even for the expert repairman, a flame is
not as satisfactory as steam.

The Gasoline Torch. This is the most unsatisfactory method, and should
not be used if possible. The torch gives a hot, spreading flame and it
is difficult to prevent the covers, jars, case, etc., from being
burned. Do not use a gasoline torch if you can possibly avoid doing
so. Alcohol torches are open to the same objections, and are not
satisfactory, even in the hands of a highly skilled workman.

If a flame is used for heating the compound, be sure to blow out with
a hand bellows or compressed air any gas that may have gathered above
the plates, before you bring the flame near the battery.

Electric Heat. Special electric ovens for softening sealing compound
are on the market. The heating element is brought close to the top of
the battery. Where electric power is cheap, this method may be used.
Otherwise it is rather expensive.

  [Fig. 197 Resting element on jar to drain]

When the sealing compound has been softened, place the battery on the
floor between your feet. Grasp the two posts of one cell with pliers,
and pull straight up with an even, steady pull. If the battery has
been steamed long enough, the plates will come up easily, carrying
with them the cover (or covers, if the batter has upper and lower
covers) to which the compound is sticking, as shown in Fig. 196. Do
not remove the plates of the other cells until later.

Rest the plates on the top of the jar just long enough to allow most
of the acid to drain from them, Fig. 197. If you have removed the post
seal, or if the seal consists of compound (old Philadelphia
batteries), pry off the covers now with a screw driver. Otherwise,
leave the covers in place while cleaning off the compound.

While the plates are resting on the jars to drain, scrape the compound
from the covers with a warm screw driver or putty knife, Fig. 198.
Work quickly while the compound is still hot and soft, and comes off
easily. As the compound cools it hardens and sticks to the covers and
is removed with difficulty. If the battery has sealing compound around
the posts, this should also be removed thoroughly, both from the cover
and from the post.

When you scrape the compound from the covers, do a good job. Do not
scrape off most of it, and then leave pieces of it here and there.
Remove every bit of compound, on the tops, edges, sides, and bottoms
of the covers. If you need different sized putty knives or screw
drivers to do this, use them. The time to remove all the compound is
while it is still hot, and not after it has become hard and cold. If
the battery has single covers, the compound can be removed very
quickly. If the battery is of the old double-cover type, the job will
take more time, since all the compound should be scraped from both top
and bottom covers, Fig. 199.

  [Fig. 198 Removing compound from cover]

As soon as you have removed the compound from the covers of the first
cell, serape away the compound which may be sticking to the top and
inside walls of the jar, Fig. 200. Here again you must do a good job,
and remove all of this compound. If you do not do it now, you will
have to do it when you try to put the plates back into the jar later
on, as compound sticking to the inside walls of the jar will make it
difficult, and even impossible to lower the plates into the jar.

Now draw up the plates of the next cell. Rest the plates on the top of
the jar just long enough to drain, and then lift off the covers, and
remove all of the compound, from cover, posts, and jar, just as you
did in the first cell. The third cell, (and the others, if there are
more than three cells) are handled just as you did the first one.

Remember that you should lose no time after you have steamed the
battery. Hot compound is soft and does not stick to the covers, jars,
and posts and may therefore be removed quickly and easily. Cold
compound is hard, and sticks to the covers. Draw out the plates of
only one cell at a time, and clean the compound from the cover, posts
and jar of that one cell before you draw out the plates of the other
cells. In this way, the compound on the covers of the other cells will
remain hotter than if all the plates of the battery were drawn out of
the jars before any of the compound was removed from the covers. You
should have all the plates drawn out, and all the compound removed
within five minutes after you draw up the plates.

  [Fig. 199 Removing sealing compound from double cover]

Throw away the old compound. If is very likely acid-soaked and not fit
for further use.

What Must Be Done with the Battery?

The battery is now open, and in a condition to be examined and
judgment pronounced upon it. The question now arises, "What must be
done with it!" In deciding upon this, be honest with your customer,
put yourself in his place, and do just what you would like to have him
do if he were the repairman and you the car owner. The best battery
men occasionally make mistakes in their diagnosis of the battery's
condition, and the repairs necessary. Experience is the best teacher
in this respect, and you will in time learn to analyze the condition
of a battery quickly.

Handle every cell of a battery that comes in for repairs in the same
way, even though only one dead cell is found, and the others are
apparently in good condition. Each cell must be overhauled, for all
cells are of the same age, and the active materials are in about the
same condition in all the cells, and one cell just happened to give
out before the others. If you overhaul only the dead cell, the others
cells are quite likely to give out soon after the battery is put into
service again.

  [Fig. 200 Removing compound from top of jar]

It is absolutely necessary for you to have a standard method in
working on battery plates. You must divide your work into a number of
definite steps, and always perform these steps, and in the same order
each time. If you have a different method of procedure for every
battery, you will never be successful. Without a definite, tangible
method of procedure for your work you will be working in the dark, and
groping around like a blind man, never becoming a battery expert,
never knowing why you did a certain thing, never gaining confidence in

It is impossible to overemphasize the importance of having a standard
method of procedure and to stick to that method. Careless, slip-shod
methods will please your competitor and give him the business which
belongs to you.

1. Examine plates to determine whether they can be used again Rules
for determining when to discard or use old plates follow.

2. If all plates of both positive and negative groups are to be
discarded, use new groups.

The question as to whether the old negatives should be used with new
positives has caused considerable discussion. If the negatives are old
and granulated, they should of course be discarded. Remember that the
capacity of negatives decreases steadily after they are put into
service, while the capacity of positives increases. Putting new
positives against negatives which are rapidly losing capacity is not
advisable. However, trouble often arises in a battery whose negatives
still have considerable capacity, and such negatives may safely be
used with new positives.

If you feel that a battery will not give at least six months more
service after rebuilding with the old negatives, put in all new
plates, or sell the owner a new battery, allowing him some money on
the old battery. But if you really believe that the negatives still
have considerable capacity, put in new positives if required. If all
new plates are used, proceed as directed in this chapter, beginning at
page 348.

3. If you find that only some of the plates are to be discarded, or if
you are not certain as to the condition of the plates, eliminate any
short circuits which may exist, and give the battery a preliminary
charge, as described later, before you do any work on the plates.
Plates that are fully charged are in the best possible condition for
handling, and you should make it an ironclad rule that if some of the
plates can be used again always to charge a battery before you work on
the plates, no matter what is to be done to them. If both positives
and negatives are to be discarded, the preliminary charge should not,
of course, be given, but if only the negatives, or the negatives and
some or all of the positives are to be used again, give this
preliminary charge. Very few batteries will come to your shop in a
charged condition, and an exhausted battery is not in a good condition
to be worked on. Charge the whole battery even though only one cell is
in a very bad condition. This is a method that has been tried out
thoroughly in practice, not in one or two cases, but in thousands.
Batteries in all sorts of conditions have been rebuilt by this method,
and have always given first class service, a service which was
frequently as good, if not better than that given by new batteries.

Examining the Plates

Place an element on a block of wood as shown in Fig. 201. Carefully
pry the plates apart so that you can look down between them and make a
fair preliminary examination. Whenever possible, make your examination
of the plates without separating the groups or removing the old
separators. This should be done because:

(a) Very often the active material is bulged or swollen, and if you
pull out the old separators and put in new ones before charging, the
element spreads out so at the bottom that it cannot be put back into
the jars without first pressing in a plate press. Pressing a complete
element with the separators in place should never be done if it can
possibly be avoided. If it is done the separators should be thrown.
away after you have charged the battery, washed and pressed the
negatives, and washed the positive.

  [Fig. 201 Element on block for examination]

(b) If you put in new separators before giving the battery the
preliminary charge, the new separators may pick up any impurities
which may be on the plates, and will probably be cracked by forcing
them between the bulged and sulphated plates. If, however, the old
separators are covered with sulphate, it is best to throw them away
and put in new separators before giving the battery its preliminary
charge, because such separators will greatly hinder the flow of the
charging current. In batteries using rubber sheets in addition to the
wooden separators, remove all the wooden separators and leave the
rubber sheets in place between the plates. Where only wooden
separators are used in a battery, these may be thrown away and
perforated rubber separators used for the preliminary charge. Rubber
separators may be used again. See (a) above about precautions against
pressing a complete element.

  [Fig. 202 Separating the groups]

If you are not absolutely certain as to the condition of the plates,
draw out a few separators. If separators stick to the plates, loosen
them by inserting a putty knife blade between them and the plates.
Removing a few separators will permit you to separate the groups
before removing the rest of the separators. To separate the groups,
grasp a post in each hand, as, in Fig. 202, and work them back and
forth, being careful not to injure the posts, or break off any plates.
With the groups separated, the remaining separators will either fall
out or may be easily pushed out with a putty knife. Ordinarily, the
groups may be separated in this way if the elements have thirteen
plates or less.

The natural thing to do at this point is to decide what must be done
to the plates, and we therefore give a number of rules to help you
determine which are to be junked, and which are to be used again.
Study these rules carefully, and have them fixed firmly in your mind
so that you can tell instantly what must be done with the plates.

  [Fig. 203 Positives from frozen vehicle cell, showing active
   material sticking to separator]

When to Put In New Plates

1. If one or more jars are cracked and leak, and positive plates have
been ruined by freezing, as shown in Fig. 203, and if upon drawing out
the separators, and separating the positive and negative groups the
active material drops out of the grids, the only way to put the
battery in a good condition is to put in new positives, and new jars
and case if necessary.

Make a careful estimate of

1. (a) Cost of new jars.
2. (b) Cost of new plates.
3. (c) Cost of new case if needed.
4. (d) Cost of labor required.

Try to have the owner present while you are opening his battery. If,
however, he could not wait, and has left, call him up and tell him
what the total cost will be, and if he has no objections, go ahead
with the job. If he is not entirely satisfied with your price, try to
get him to come to your shop. Show him the battery, explain its
condition, tell him just what must be done with it, and explain how
you made your estimate of the cost of the whole job. If you do this.
there will never be any misunderstanding as to cost. Tell him the cost
of a new battery, and let him decide if lie wants one. If the cost of
repairing is almost as much as the price of a new battery. advise him
to buy a new one, but allow him to make the decision himself. He will
then have no cause for complaint.

  [Fig. 204 and 205 Show Diseased Negatives. The Large Ones Only
   Eight Months Old. Active Material, Granulated and Blistered]

2. If the battery is more than two years old, and the active material
on the negative plates is granulated (grainy appearance), Figs. 204
and 205, and somewhat disintegrated; if the plates are weak and
brittle around the edges, and several grids are cracked, Fig. 206, and
the plates have lost a considerable amount of active material; and if
the case has been rotted by the acid, the battery should be junked.

  [Fig. 206 Weak and cracked positives]

Call up the owner, and tell him he needs a new battery. If he does not
seem pleased, ask him to come to your shop. Then show him his battery,
and explain its condition. If you are courteous and patient, you will
sell him a new battery. Otherwise he will never return.

  [Fig. 207 Buckled plates, and Fig. 208 An unusually bad case
   of buckling]

3. If the positive plates are badly distorted from buckling, as in
Figs. 207 and 208 discard them, for they will cut through new
separators, if put into commission again, ill from two to six months.

4. A battery which has has been dry and badly sulphated at some past
period of its life will have the dry portions covered with a white
sulphate, the acid line being clearly distinguishable by this white
color, as shown at A and B in Fig. 201. If the plates are otherwise
in good shape and you wish to use them, give them the "water cure"
described on page 349.

  [Fig. 209 Corroded, bulged and sulphated negatives.
   Disintegrated, rotten positives.]

  [Fig. 210 Disintegrated positives.]

5. Rotten and disintegrated positive plates, Figs. 209 and 210, must
be replaced with new plates. The plates have fallen to pieces or break
at the slightest pressure. Disintegrated plates are an indication of
impurities or overcharging, providing the battery is not old enough to
cause disintegration normally,--say about two years. The lead grid is
converted into peroxide of lead and becomes soft. As a result, there
is nothing to support the paste, and it falls out. Better put in new
negatives also.

6. Batteries with high gravity or hot electrolyte have burned and
carbonized separators, turning them black and rotting them, the
negative paste becomes granulated and is kept in a soft condition, and
gradually drops from the grids on account of the jolting of the car on
the road. Fig. 211 shows such a battery.

7. Dry, hard, and white, long discharged, and badly sulphated plates,
Figs. 201 and 209, are practically ruined, though if the trouble is
not of long standing, the plates may be revived somewhat by a long
charge at a very low rate, using distilled water in place of the
electrolyte, and then discharging at a current equal to about
one-eight to one-tenth of the ampere hour capacity of the battery at
the discharge board. Charge and discharge a battery a number or times,
and you may be able to put a little "pep" into it. In charging
sulphated plates, use a low charging rate, and do not allow gassing
before the end of the charge, or a temperature of the electrolyte
above 110°F.

  [Fig. 211 Side and end view of element from traveling
   salesman's battery]

8. If a battery case is not held down firmly, or if the elements are
loose in the jars, the plates will jump around when the car is in
motion. This will break the sealing compound on top of the battery,
and cause the battery to be a slopper. The active materials will be
shaken out of the grids, as shown in Fig. 212, and the plates will
wear through the separators. New plates are required.

9. If Battery Has Been Reversed. Often the plates of such a battery
disintegrate and crumble under the slightest pressure. If the reversal
is not too far advanced, the plates may be restored (See page 81), but
otherwise they should be discarded. This condition is recognized by
the original negatives being brown, and the original positives gray.

From the foregoing explanations, you see that most of the trouble is
with the positives:

(a) Because the positive active material does not stick together well,
but drops off, or sheds easily.

(b) Because the positives warp or buckle, this causing most of the
battery troubles.

(c) Because the positive plate is weaker and is ruined by freezing.

When the Old Plates May be Used Again

1. If one or more plates are broken from the plate connecting straps,
or the joint between any strap and the plate is poorly made. If plates
are in good condition, reburn the plate lugs to the straps.

  [Fig. 212]

  Fig. 212. Element from a "Slopper." Element was Loose in Jar and
  Jolting of Car Caused Paste to Fall Out.

2. Straight Rebuild. If the general condition of the battery is good,
i.e., the plates straight or only slightly buckled, only a slight
amount of shedding of active material, no white sulphate oil either
plate, the grids not brittle, active material adhering to and firmly
touching the grids, the positive active material of a dark chocolate
brown color and fairly hard (as determined by scratching with blade of
a pocket knife), the negative active Material dark gray in color and
not blistered or granulated, and the plates not too thin, make a
straight rebuild. To do this, charge the battery, remove any sediment
from the bottom of the jar, wash and press the negatives, wash the
positives, clean the parts, insert new separators, and reassemble as
directed later. The only trouble may be cracked sealing compound, or a
broken jar. Broken jars should, of course, be replaced.

  [Fig. 213 Badly bulged negatives. Such plates must be pressed]

3. Badly bulged negative plates, Fig. 213, cause lack of capacity
because the active material is loose, and does not make good contact
with the grids. If the active material is not badly granulated (having
a grainy appearance) the plates call be used again. Sulphated
negatives have very hard active material, and will feel as bard as
stone when scratched with a knife. Hard negatives from Which active
material has been falling ill lumps Oil account of being
overdischarged after having been in in undercharged condition may be
nursed back to life, if too much of the active material has not been

4. The formation of an excessive amount of sulphate may result in
cracking the grids, and the active materials falls out in lumps. Such
plates may be put in a serviceable condition by a long charge and
several cycles of charge and discharge if there is not too much
cracking or too much loss of active material.

5. Positives which are only slightly warped or buckled may be used

6. When the only trouble found is a slight amount of shedding.
Positive active material must be of a dark chocolate brown color and
fairly hard. Negatives must be a dark gray.

7. When the plates are in a good condition, but one or more separators
have been worn or out through, or a jar is cracked.

If the battery is one which will not hold its charge, and plates seem
to be in a good condition, the trouble is very likely caused by the
separators approaching the breaking down point, and the repair job
consists of putting in new separators or "reinsulating" the battery.

What To Do With the Separators

It is the safest plan to put in new separators whenever a battery is
opened, and the groups separated. Separators are the weakest part of
the battery, and it is absolutely essential that all their pores be
fully opened so as to allow free passing of electrolyte through them.
Some of the conditions requiring new separators are:

1. Whenever the pores are closed by any foreign matter whatsoever. Put
in new separators whether you can figure out the cause of the trouble
or not. The separator shown in Fig. 201 is sulphated clear through
above the line B, and is worthless. The separator shown in Fig. 203
should not be used again.

2. When the separators have been cut or "chiseled off" by the edge of
a buckled plate, Fig. 214.

3. When a buckling plate or plate with bulged active material breaks
through the separator, Fig. 214.

  [Fig. 214]

  Fig. 214. Separators Worn Thin and Cut Through on Edges by Buckled
  Plates. Holes Worn Through by Bulged Active Material, Center One Shows
  Cell Was Dry Two Thirds of the Way Down.

4. When a battery has been used while the level of the Fig. 214.
Separators Worn Thin and Cut Through on Edges by Buckled Plates. Holes
Worn Through by Bulged Active Material. Center One Shows Cell Was Dry
Two Thirds of the Way Down electrolyte has been below the tops of the
plates, or the battery has been used in a discharged condition, and
lead sulphate has deposited on the separators, Fig. 201.

  [Fig. 215 Rotted separators]

5. When a battery has been over-heated by overcharging or other
causes, and the hot acid has rotted, burned and carbonized the
separators, Fig. 215.

6. When a battery has been damaged by the addition of acid and the
separators have been rotted, Fig. 215.

7. Separators which are more than a year old should be replaced by new
ones, whether plates are defective or not.

When you have put in new separators, and put the battery on charge,
the specific gravity of the electrolyte may go down at first, instead
of rising. This is because the separators may absorb some of the acid.
If the battery was discharged when you put in the new separators, the
lowering of the specific gravity might not take place, but in most
cases the specific gravity will go down, or not change at all.

Find the Cause of Every Trouble

The foregoing rules must be studied carefully and be clearly tabulated
in your mind to be able to tell what to put into commission again and
what to discard as junk. It will take time to learn how to
discriminate, but keep at it persistently and persevere, and as you
pass judgment on this battery and that battery, ask yourself such
questions as: What put this battery in this condition? Why are the
negative plates granulated? Why are the positive plates buckled? What
caused the positive plates to disintegrate? Why are the separators
black? Why is the case rotten when less than a year old? Why did the
sealing compound crack on top and cause the electrolyte to slop? Why
did one of the terminal connectors get loose and make a slopper? Who
is to blame for it, the car manufacturer, the manufacturer of the
battery, or the owner of the car? Why did this battery have to be
taken off the car, opened up and rebuilt at 5 months old, when the
battery taken off a car just the day before had been on for 30 months
and never had been charged off the car but once? There is a reason;
find it. Locate the cause of the trouble if possible, remove the
cause; your customer will appreciate it and tell his friends about it,
and this will mean more business for you.

Eliminating "Shorts"

If you have decided that some or all of the plates may be used again,
the next thing to do is to separate any plates that are touching, and
put the battery on charge. It may be necessary to put in new
separators in place of the defective ones. Examine the separators
carefully. Whenever you find the pores of the separators stopped up
from any cause whatsoever, put in new separators before charging.

1. Sometimes the negative plates are bulged or blistered badly and
have worn clear through the separators, Fig. 214, and touch the
positives. In cases of this kind, to save time and trouble, separate
the groups, press the negatives lightly, as described later, assemble
the element with new separators, and it is ready for charging.

2. There is another case where the groups must be separated and new
separators inserted before they will take charge, and that is where
the battery has suffered from lack of water and has sulphated clear
through the separators, Fig. 201. The separators will be covered with
white sulphate. Chemical action is very sluggish in such cases.

If you find that the separator pores are still open, leave the
separators in place and proceed to separate the plates that are
touching. How? That depends on what insulating material you have
available that is thin enough. If nothing else is available, take a
piece of new dry separator about 3/8 inch to 1/2 inch square, or a
piece of pasteboard the same size. Use a screw driver or putty knife
to separate the plates far enough to insert the little piece of
insulation as in Fig. 216. Free all the shorts in this way, unless you
have some old rubber insulators. In this case, break off some narrow
strips 3/4 inch wide or less, put two together and repeat the
operation as above, using the rubber strips instead of the pieces of
separator. Insert down 1/2 inch or so and bend over and break off.
Occasionally the Lipper edges of the plates are shorted, in which case
they must be treated the same way.

  [Fig. 216 Clearing short circuits]

  [Fig. 217 Cleaning scale from posts before replacing connectors
   temporarily for charge]


When you have in this way cleared all the "shorts" in the elements
place the elements back in the jars in the same position as they were
when you opened the battery, and add enough distilled water to the
electrolyte to cover the plates to a depth of one-half inch.

If the negatives are badly sulphated (active material very hard), they
will charge more quickly if all the old electrolyte is dumped out and
the cells filled with distilled water before putting the battery on
charge. This "water cure" is the best for sulphated negatives and will
save many plates that could otherwise not be used again. Make it a
rule to replace the old electrolyte with distilled water if negatives
are sulphated.

  [Fig. 218]

  Fig. 218. Tapping Connectors in Place.
  Preparatory to Charging After Battery
  Has Been Opened and Shorts Removed

The next operation is to put the battery on charge. Grasp each post in
the jaws of a pair of gas pliers and work the pliers back and forth,
Fig. 217, so as to remove the scale and allow the connecting straps to
make good contact. Now take a knife and cut off the rough edges left
in the connecting straps by the drill. Taper the edge, if necessary to
go on post. Turn the connectors upside down and pound gently in
position, Fig. 218, to make a good connection. Temporary charging
connections may also be made by burning lead strips on the posts. This
being properly done, the battery is ready for charging. Check up the
connections to be sure they are correct.

Now put the battery on charge, and charge at a low rate. Do not allow
the temperature of any cell to rise above 110°F. Continue the charge
until the electrolyte clears up, and its specific gravity stops rising
and the plates have a normal color over their entire surface. Fully
charged positive plates have a chocolate brown color, and fully
charged negative plates have a dark gray color. By holding an electric
light directly over a cell, and looking down, the color of both
negatives and positives may be determined. Do not take the battery off
charge until you have obtained these results, although it may be
necessary to continue the charge for two, three, four, or five days.
In this preliminary charge it is not necessary to bring the gravity up
to 1.280, because the electrolyte is not to be used again, and the
plates will become charged completely, regardless of what the gravity
is. The essential thing is to charge until the electrolyte becomes
perfectly clear, the gravity stops rising, and the plates have the
right color. The Cadmium test may be used here to determine when the
plates are charged. If the gravity rises above 1.280 during the
preliminary charge, adjust it to 1.280 by drawing out some of the
electrolyte and adding distilled water. The battery must stay on
charge until you have the desired conditions. If one cell does not
charge,--that is, if its specific gravity does not rise,--you have
probably not freed all the shorts, and must take the element out of
the jar again and carefully inspect it for more shorts.

Right here is where one of the most important questions may be asked
about rebuilding batteries. Why must you free the shorts and put the
battery on charge? Why not save time by putting in all new separators,
sealing the battery, burning on the cell connectors, and then putting
it on charge? If you have ever treated a battery in this way, what
results did you get? Why did you have a badly unbalanced gravity of
electrolyte? How could you know what specific gravity electrolyte to
put in each cell? Perhaps one was charged, one only half charged, and
the other dead. Suppose the dead cell had impurities in it. How could
you get rid of them? Suppose the battery showed poor capacity on test,
what would you do?

Washing and Pressing the Negatives

To continue the actual work on the battery. The battery being fully
charged,--the electrolyte clear, the plates of normal color, the
specific gravity no longer rising,-- remove it from the charging bench
and put it on the work bench. Draw each element and let drain as in
Fig. 197.

  [Fig. 219 Nesting plates]

Here again the labeled boxes described on page 183 come in handy.
Separate one group, remove the separators, and put one group in each
end of box to keep clean. Separate another group, And nest the plates,
Fig. 219, the negative with the negative, and positive with positive.
Separate the third element and put groups in the boxes. Pour the old
electrolyte out of the jars, and wash out the jars as described on
page 360. You now have the plates in the best possible shape for
handling. Take the boxes containing the plates to the sink. Have the
plate press and the plate press boards ready for use.

If, for any reason, you are called away from your work at this point
to be gone for five minutes, do not leave the fully charged negatives
exposed to the air, as they will become very hot. Cover them with
water. A one-gallon stone or earthenware jar will hold the negative
plates of a 100 ampere hour battery if you nest two of the groups. You
may also put negatives back in jars from which they were taken, and
fill with water.

Now hold a negative group under the faucet, and let a strong stream of
water run down over each plate so as to wash it thoroughly, and to
remove any foreign matter from the plate surfaces. All negative groups
must be handled in exactly the same way so as to get the same results
in each case.

After you have washed the first group, place it on edge on a clean
board with the post down and pointing away from you, and the bottom of
the group toward you. Now insert plate press boards which are slightly
larger than the plates, and of the exact thickness required to fill
the spaces between plates, Fig. 113. For the standard 1/8 inch plates,
a 5-16 inch board, or two 1/8 inch boards should be placed between

The 1/8 inch boards are actually more than 1/8 inch thick, and will
give the proper spacing. For thin plates, use 1/4 inch boards. Do not
push the plate press boards more than 1/8 inch above the tops of the
plates, and be sure that the boards cover the entire plates. Put a
board on the outside of each end plate of the group. In this way
insert the plate press boards in each of the three negative groups.

Then place each negative group on the lower jaw of the plate press
with the post of each group pointing toward you. Three groups may be
pressed at one time. Bring the top edges of the transite boards flush
with the front edge of the lower jaw of the press, so that no pressure
will be applied to the plate lugs. See Fig. 114. Pressure applied to
the plate lugs will break them off.

Now screw down the upper jaw of the press as tightly as you can with
the handwheel, so as to put as much pressure on the plates as
possible. Leave the plates in the press for about five minutes. Then
remove them from the press, take out the boards, and replace the
plates in the battery jar from which they were removed, and cover with
water. They may also be placed in a stone or earthernware jar and
covered with water, especially if there is any work to be done on the
jars or case of the battery. If the spongy lead of the negatives is
firm, they may be reassembled in the battery as soon as they have been
pressed. If, however, the spongy lead is soft and mushy, keep the
negatives covered with water for 12 to 24 hours. This will make them
hard and firm. Then remove them from the water and dry them in the
air. In drying, the plates will become heated and will steam. As soon
as you notice any steaming, dip the plates in water until they are
cool. Then remove them from the water and continue the drying process.
Each time the negatives begin to steam as they dry in the air, dip
them in the water until they are cool.

When the negatives are dry, they are ready to be reassembled in the
battery and prepared for service. Negatives treated in this way will
give good service for a much longer time than they would if not
treated in this way. The spongy lead has been made firm and elastic.
If you have other negatives in your shop which are not in use, treat
them in the same way and put them away for future use, to use as
rental batteries. Always put them through the same process:

1. Charge them fully.

2. Press them in the plate press to force the spongy lead back into
the grids.

3. Soak them in water, if the spongy lead is soft and mushy, for 12 to
24 hours, or even longer until the spongy lead is firm. Dry them in
the air, dipping them in water whenever they begin to steam and become
heated. This will give you negatives that will give excellent service
and have a long life. Many negatives treated in this way will be good
for fifteen months to two years of additional service. The rental
batteries should be assembled in the same way as those you are
rebuilding for the owners.

The importance of pressing negatives cannot be exaggerated. Always
press the negatives of the batteries which you rebuild. Do not do it
to half, or three-fourths of the negatives, but to all of them. The
work takes but a few minutes, and the time could not be put to better
advantage. The spongy lead of the negatives swells and bulges out and
makes very poor contact with the grids as a battery becomes
discharged. This results in a loss of capacity, gradual sulphation of
the loose active material, corrosion of the grids, failure of the
gravity to rise high enough on charge, overheating of the battery on
charge, gassing before the sulphate is reduced to active material with
breaking off and roughening of the active material, and makes the
battery lazy and sluggish in action. The spongy lead must make good
contact with the grids if the battery is to have a long life and give
good service.

No amount of charging will cure a negative with bulged, swollen active
material. Once this material becomes bulged nothing but pressing will
put it back where it belongs, and until it is pressed back into the
grids the plates are in a poor condition for service. Even if the
bulging is but very slight, the plates must be pressed.

Washing Positives

If you intend to use some of the positives, they should now be washed.
If you intend to use all new positives, throw away the old ones, of
course. The positives should not be held under the faucet as the
negatives were, because the stream of water will wash out much of the
positive active material. Rinse the positives a number of times in a
jar of clean water by moving them up and down in the water. This will
remove impurities from the surfaces of the plates and wash off any
foreign or loose materials. After rinsing each positive group, replace
it in the box.

Never attempt to straighten badly buckled positives, as the bending
cannot be done successfully, and the active material will not have
good contact with the grids. Positives cannot be pressed as negatives
can, because the positive active material lacks the elasticity and
toughness of the negative spongy lead. Slightly buckled positives may
sometimes be straightened by bending them lightly all around the edges
with a pair of thin, wide nosed pliers. This should be done very
carefully, however, and the straightening done gradually. If the
plates cannot be straightened in this way and the separators do not
lie perfectly flat against them without pinching at the corners, the
plates should be discarded, and new ones used in their place.

This is all the work to be done on the old plates, and those which are
to be used again are ready to be reassembled in the battery. The
process of treating the plates should be followed in every battery
that you rebuild, and the same steps should always be taken, and in
the same order. With one Standard method of rebuilding batteries you
will do uniformly good work and satisfy all your customers. The
essential thing for the success of your battery business is to learn
the Standard method and use it. Do not rush a battery through your
shop, and leave out some of the steps of the process, even though the
owner may be in a hurry. If you have a good stock of rental batteries
you can put one on his car and keep it there until you have done as
good a job of rebuilding on his battery as you possibly can. Remember
that the Standard method which has been described has not simply been
figured out as being a good method. This method has been worked out in
the actual rebuilding of thousands and thousands of batteries of all
makes and in all conditions, and has produced batteries full of life
and power, ready to give one to two years more of good, reliable

Burning on Plates

When you put new plates into a battery, or find some of the plates
broken from the connecting strap, it will be necessary to burn the
plates to the strap. Frequently you will find plates which are
otherwise in a good condition broken from the connecting straps. This
is most likely to happen when the plates have been cast on to the
connecting strap instead of being burned on. These plates must be
burned on.

New plates are frequently necessary. From pages 339 to 346 you see
that new plates are required under the following conditions:

(a) Positives. Ruined by freezing; weak and brittle from age, large
part of active material shed; badly buckled; rotten and disintegrated
by impurities; reversed. Positives in a reasonably good mechanical
condition can be restored to a good electrical condition by charging.

(b) Negatives. Active material granulated, bulged and disintegrated;
charged while dry; positives disintegrated by impurities; ruined by
overcharging; badly sulphated because allowed to stand idle, or used
while discharged; much active material lost, and that which is left
soft and mushy; negatives reversed by charging battery backwards.

When making plate renewals, never install plates of different design
in the same group. Always use plates of the type intended for the
battery. The battery should first be fully charged, as already
explained. If all the plates in a group are to be discarded, clamp the
post in a vise, being careful not to crack the hard rubber shell if
one is on it, or to damage the threads on Posts such as the Exide or
to draw up the vise so tightly as to crush the post. Then saw off all
the old plates with a new coarse toothed hacksaw, a sharp key hole
saw, or any good saw which has a wide set, close to the post. This
separates the entire group of plates from the post in one short
operation. This method is much better than the one of sawing the
plates off below the connecting strap, and sawing or punching the old
plate ends out of the strap. See page 217 for instructions for welding
plates to the straps.

Work on the Jars

The work on the jars consists of removing any sediment which may have
collected, washing out all dirt, and replacing leaky jars. The removal
of sediment and washing should be done after the preliminary charge
has been given and the old electrolyte poured out unless the
preliminary charge was given with distilled water in the jars. The old
electrolyte need not be poured down the sewer, but may be kept in
stone or earthenware jars and used later in making electrical tests to
locate leaky jars.

Testing Jars

Remove all sealing compound from the jar by means of a hot putty
knife, finishing by wiping with a gasoline soaked rag. Inspect each
jar carefully under a strong light for cracks and leaks. If you know
which jar is leaky by having filled each cell with water up to the
correct level, when you made the first examination of the battery, and
then having it allowed to stand over night to see if the electrolyte
in any cell has dropped below the tops of the plates, no tests are
necessary, but if you are in doubt as to which jar, if any, is leaky,
you must make tests to determine which jar is leaky. If you know that
there is no leaky jar, because of the bottom of the case not being
acid eaten and rotted, it is, of course, not necessary to test the

One test consists in filling the jar within about an inch of the top
with old or weak electrolyte, partly immersing the jar in a tank which
also contains electrolyte, and applying a voltage of 110 or 220
between the electrolyte in the jar and the electrolyte in the tank in
which the jar is partly immersed. If current Vows, this indicates that
the jar is leaky.

  [Fig. 220 Testing jar for leaks, using a 15-watt lamp in series
   with test circuit]

Fig. 220 shows the principle of the test. A suitable box,--an old
battery case will do--is lined with sheet lead, and the lead lining
is connected to either side of the 110 or 220 volt line. The box is
then partly filled with weak electrolyte. The jar to be tested is
filled to within about one inch of the top with weak electrolyte. The
jar is immersed to within about an inch of its top in the box. The top
part of the jar must be perfectly dry when the test is made, or else
the current will go through any electrolyte which may be wetting the
walls of the jar. A lead strip or rod, which is connected to the other
side of the 110 or 220 volt line, through a lamp as shown, is inserted
in the jar. If there is, a leak in the jar, the lamp will burn, and
the jar must be discarded. If the lamp does not light, the jar does
not leak.

Instead of using a lead lined box, a stone or earthenware jar may be
used. A sheet of lead should be placed in this jar, being bent into a
circular shape to fit the inside of the jar, and connected to one side
of the line. The lead rod or sheet which is inserted in the jar may be
mounted on a handle for convenience in making the test. The details of
the testing outfit may, of course, be varied according to what
material is available for use. The lamps should be suitably mounted on
the wall above the tester.

  [Fig. 221 Testing jar for leaks, using a voltmeter in series
   with test circuit]

This test may be made by using a voltmeter instead of lamps, as shown
in Fig. 221. If a voltmeter is used, be especially careful to have the
part projecting above the liquid perfectly dry. A leaky cell will be
indicated by a reading on the meter equal to the line voltage.

  [Fig. 222 Testing jar for leaks, using secondary of Ford ignition
   coil, or any other vibrator ignition coil]

A third method uses a Ford ignition coil, as shown in Fig. 222. A leak
will be indicated by a spark, or by the vibrator making more noise
than it ordinarily does. Instead of using the Ford coil, as shown in
Fig. 222, the test may be made as shown in Fig. 223. Fill the jar to
within an inch of the top with electrolyte and immerse one of the high
tension wires in the electrolyte. Attach the other high tension wire
to a wire brush, comb, or rod having a wooden handle and rub it over
the outside of the jar. A leak is shown by a spark jumping to the jar.

  [Fig. 223 Testing jar for leaks, using secondary of Ford ignition
   coil, or any other vibrator ignition coil]

The test may also be made without removing the jar. If the lead lined
box be made two feet long, the entire battery may be set in the box so
that the electrolyte in the box comes within an inch of the top of the
battery case. Fill each jar with weak electrolyte and make the test as
before. If this is done, however, remove the battery immediately after
making the test and wipe the case dry with a cloth. To make the test
in this way, the case must be considerably acid eaten in order to have
a circuit through it to the jar.

Removing Defective Jars

The method of removing the jars from the case depends on the battery.
In some batteries the jars are set in sealing compound. To remove a
jar from such a battery, put the steam hose from your steamer outfit
into the jar, cover up the top of the jar with rags, and steam the jar
for about five minutes. Another way is to fill the jar with boiling
hot water and let it stand for fully five minutes. Either of these
methods will soften the sealing compound around the jar so that the
jar may be pulled out. To remove the jar, grasp two sides of the jar
with two pairs of long, flat nosed pliers and pull straight up with an
even, steady pull. Have the new jar at hand and push it into the place
of the old one as soon as the latter is removed. The new jar should
first be steamed to soften it somewhat. Press down steadily on the new
jar until its top is flush with the tops of the other jars.

Some batteries do not use sealing compound around the jars, but simply
use thin wooden wedges to hold the jars in place, or have bolts
running through opposite faces of the case by means of which the sides
are pressed against the jars to hold them in place. The jars of such
batteries may be removed without heating, by removing the wedges or
loosening the bolts, as the case may be, and lifting out the jars with
pliers, as before. New jars should be steamed for several minutes
before being put in the case. When you put jars into such batteries,
do not apply too much pressure to them, as they may be cracked by the
pressure, or the jar may be squeezed out of shape, and the assembling
process made difficult.

  [Fig. 224 Washing sediment from Jars. Water supply controlled
   by foot valve]

Repairing the Case

The case may be repaired with all the jars in place, or it may be
necessary to remove the jars. If the case is to be junked and the jars
used again, the case may simply be broken off, especially if there is
much sealing compound around the jars.

Empty the old acid from the jars, take the case to the sink and wash
out all the sediment, Fig. 224. With the pipe shown in Fig. '14, you
have both hands free to hold the case, as the water is controlled by'
a foot operated spring cock.

If the case is rotten at top, patch it with good wood. If the top and
bottom are so rotten that considerable time will be required to repair
it, advise the owner to buy a new case. Sometimes the top of the case
can be greatly improved by straightening the side edges with a small
smoothing plane, and sometimes a 1/2 inch strip or more fitted all
along the edge is necessary for a good job. Handles that have been
pulled, rotted, or corroded off make disagreeable repair jobs, but a
satisfactory job can be done unless the end of the case has been
pulled off or rotted. Sometimes the handle will hold in place until
the battery is worn out by old age if three or four extra holes are
bored and countersunk in the handle where the wood is solid, and
common wood screws, size 12, 1/2 or 5/8 inch long used to fasten the
handle in place. Sometimes it will be necessary to put in one half of
a new end, the handle being fastened to the new piece with brass bolts
and nuts before it is put into place. Sometimes you can do a good job
by using a plate of sheet iron 1-16 inch thick, and 4 inches wide, and
as long as the end of the case is wide. Rivet the handle to this plate
with stovepipe, or copper rivets, and then fasten the plate to the
case with No. 12 wood screws, 1/2 inch long.

If the old case is good enough to use again, soak it for several hours
in a solution of baking soda in water to neutralize any acid which may
have been spilled on it, or which may be spilled on it later. After
soaking the case, rinse it in water, and allow it to dry thoroughly.
Then paint the case carefully with asphaltum paint.


Reassembling the Elements

Take a negative group and put it on edge on a board, with post away
from you, and lower edge toward you. Mesh a positive in the negative
group. The groups are now ready for the separators. Take six moist
separators from your stock. Slip one into position from the bottom in
the middle of the group, with the grooved side toward the positive
plate, spreading the plates slightly if necessary. Take another
separator, slip it into position on the opposite side of the positive
against which your first separator was placed. In this way, put in the
six separators, with the grooved side toward the positives, working
outward in both directions from the center, Fig. 225. The grooves
must, of course, extend from the top to the bottom of the plate. Now
grasp the element in both hands, and set it right side up on the
block, giving it a slight jar to bring the bottoms of the plates and
separators on a level.

  [Fig. 225 Inserting separators]

Now grasp the element in both hands, and set it right side up on the
block, giving it a slight jar to bring the bottoms of the plates and
separators on a level.

Next take a cover, and try it on the posts, Fig. 226. Pull the groups
apart slightly, if necessary, before inserting any more separators, so
that the cover fits exactly over the posts, Fig. 227. See that the
separators extend the same distance beyond each side of the plates.
You may take a stick, about 10 inches long, 1 1/2 inches wide, and 7/8
inch thick, and tap the separators gently to even them up. A small
wood plane may be used to even up the side edges of wood separators.
If you put in too many separators before trying on the cover, the
plates may become so tight that you may not be able to shift them to
make the cover fit the posts or you may not be able to shift the
separators to their proper positions. It is therefore best to Put in
only enough separators to hold the groups together and so they can be
handled and yet remain in their proper position when set up on the
block. Without separators, the posts will not remain in position.

  [Fig. 226 Trying on a cover]

  [Fig. 227 Shifting groups to make cover fit]

With the element reassembled, and the remaining separators in their
proper positions, see that all the plates are level on bottom, and no
foreign matter sticking to them. Place the element in box shown in
Fig. 219 to keep clean. Reassemble the other elements in exactly the
same way, and put them in the box. The elements are now ready to be
put in the jars.

Putting Elements in Jars

Steam the jars in the steamer for about five minutes to soften them
somewhat, so that there will be no danger of breaking a jar when you
put in the elements.

With the case ready, look for the "+", "P" or "POS" mark on it. (Cases
which are not marked in this way at the factory should be marked by
the repairman before the battery is opened.) Place the case so that
this mark is toward you. Grip an element near the bottom in order to
prevent the plates from spreading, and put it in the jar nearest the
mark, with the positive post toward you, next to the mark. Put an
element in the next jar so that the negative post is toward you. Put
an element in the third jar so that the positive post is toward you,
and so on. The elements are correctly placed when each connecting
strap connects a positive to a negative post. If the case has no mark
on it, reassemble exactly according to the diagram you made on the tag
before you opened the battery. Set the jars so that the posts are
exactly in line so that the cell connectors will fit.

  [Fig. 228 Tightening a loose element by placing a separator
   against outside negative]

If an element fits loosely in the jar, it must be tightened. The best
way to do this is to put one or more separators on one or both sides
of the elements before putting it in the jar, Fig. 228. If you leave
the elements loose in the jars, the jolting of the car will soon crack
the sealing compound, and you will have a "slopper" on your hands.

If element fits very tight, be sure that the corners of the plate
straps have been rounded off and trimmed flush with outside negatives.
Be sure also that there is no compound sticking to the inside of jars.
Take care not to break the jar by forcing in a tight fitting element
when the jar is cold and stiff.

Filling Jars with Electrolyte or Putting on the Covers

With all the elements in place in the jars, one of two things may be.
done. First, the jars may be filled with electrolyte and the covers
then sealed on, or the covers may first be sealed on and the jars then
filled with electrolyte. Each method has its advantages and
disadvantages. If the jars are first filled with electrolyte, acid may
be splashed on the tipper parts of the jars and sealing made very

On the other hand, if the electrolyte is first poured in, the charged
negatives will not become hot, and sealing compound which runs into
the jar will be chilled as soon as it strikes the electrolyte and will
float on top and do no harm. If the covers are sealed before any
electrolyte is added, it will be easier to do a good sealing job, but
the negatives will heat up. Furthermore, any sealing compound which
runs into the jar will run down between the plates and reduce the
plate area.

If care is taken to thoroughly dry the upper parts of the jars, add
the electrolyte before sealing on the covers.

Use 1.400 Acid

If you have followed the directions carefully, and have therefore
freed all the shorts, have thoroughly charged the plates, have washed
and pressed the negative groups, have washed the positives, have then
added any new plates which were needed, and have put in new
separators, use 1.400 specific gravity electrolyte. This is necessary
because washing the plates removed some of the acid, and the new
separators will absorb enough acid so that the specific gravity after
charging will be about 1.280.

The final specific gravity must be between 1.280 and 1.300. In measuring
the specific gravity the temperature must be about 70°F., or else
corrections must be made. For every three degrees above 70°, add one
point (.001) to the reading you obtain on the hydrometer. For every three
degrees under 70°, subtract one point (.001) from the reading you obtain
on the hydrometer. For instance, if you read a specific gravity of 1.275
and find that the temperature of the electrolyte is 82°F., add
((82-70)/3 = 4)four points (1.275 + .004), which gives 1.279, which is
what the specific gravity of the electrolyte would be if its temperature
were lowered to 70°. The reason this is done is that when Ave speak of an
electrolyte of a certain specific gravity, say 1.280, we mean that this is
its specific gravity when its temperature is 70°F. We must therefore make
the temperature correction if the temperature of the electrolyte is much
higher or lower than 70°F.

Putting on The Covers

This operation is a particular one, and must be done properly, or you
will come to grief. Get the box containing the covers and connectors
for the battery you are working on; take the covers, and clean them
thoroughly. There are several ways to clean them. If you have gasoline
at hand, dip a brush in it and scrub off the compound. The covers may
also be cleaned off with boiling water, but even after you have used
the hot water, it will be necessary to wipe off the covers with
gasoline. Another way to soften any compound which may be sticking to
them, is to put the covers in the Battery Steamer and steam them for
about ten minutes. This will also heat the covers and make them limp
so that they may be handled without breaking.

If the covers fit snugly all around the inside of the jars so that
there is no crack which will allow the compound to run down on the
elements, all is well and good. If, however, there are cracks large
enough to put a small, thin putty knife in, you must close them. If
the cracks are due to the tops of the jars being bent out of shape,
heat the tops with a soft flame until they are limp, (be careful not
to burn them). Now, with short, thin wedges of wood, (new dry
separators generally answer the purpose), crowd down on the outside
edges of the jar, until you have the upper edge of jars straight and
even all around. If the jars are set in compound, take a hot
screwdriver and remove the compound from between the jar and case
near the top. If the cracks between cover and jar still remain, calk
them with asbestos packing, tow, or ordinary wrapping string. Do not
use too much packing;--just enough to close the cracks is sufficient.
When this is done, see that the top of the case is perfectly level, so
that when the compound is poured in, it will settle level all around
the upper edge of the case.

Sealing Compounds

There are many grades of compounds (see page 149), and the kind to use
must be determined by the type of battery to be sealed. There is no
question but that a poor grade used as carefully as possible will soon
crack and produce a slopper. A battery carelessly sealed with the best
compound is no better.

The three imperative conditions for a permanent lasting job are:

1. Use the best quality of the proper kind of compound for sealing the
battery on hand.

2. All surfaces that the compound comes in contact with must be free
from acid and absolutely clean and dry.

3. The sealing must be done conscientiously and all details properly
attended to step by step, and all work done in a workmanlike manner.

With respect to sealing, batteries may be divided into two general
classes. First, the old type battery with a considerable amount of
sealing compound. This type of battery generally has a lower and an
upper cover, the vent tube being attached or removable, depending on
the design. The compound is poured on top of the lower cover and
around the vent tube, and the top covers are then put on. Most of the
batteries of this type have a thin hard rubber sleeve shrunk on the
post where the compound comes in contact with it; this hard rubber
sleeve usually has several shallow grooves around it which increase
its holding power. This is good construction, provided everything else
is normal and the work properly done with a good stick-, compound.
There are a few single cover batteries with connecting straps close to
top of covers, and the compound is poured over the top of the straps.
See Fig. 262.

The second general type consists of single one-piece cover batteries
that have small channels or spaces around the covers next to the jars
into which the sealing compound is poured. This type of battery is the
most common type.

  [Fig. 229 Pouring compound on lower covers]

Compound in bulk or in thin iron barrels can be cut into small pieces
with a hatchet or hand ax. To cut off a piece in hot weather, strike
it a quick hard blow in the same place once or twice, and a piece will
crack off. Directions for properly beating sealing compound will be
found on page 150.

Sealing Double Cover Batteries

The following instructions apply to batteries having double covers.
These are more difficult to seal than the single cover batteries. If
you can seal the double cover batteries well, the single cover
batteries will give you no trouble.

Always start the fire under the compound before you are ready to use
it, and turn the fire lower after it has melted, so as not to have it
too hot at the time of pouring. If you have a special long nosed
pouring ladle, fill it with compound by dipping in the pot, or by
pouring compound from a closed vessel. If you heat the compound in an
iron kettle, pour it directly into pouring ladle, using just about
enough for the first pouring. The compound should not be too hot, as a
poor sealing job battery will result from its use. See page 150.

Before sealing, always wipe the surfaces to be sealed with a rag wet
with ammonia or soda solution, rinsed with water, and wiped dry with a
rag or waste. If you fail to do this the compound will not stick well,
and a top leak may develop. Then run a soft lead burning flame over
the surfaces to be sealed, in order to have perfectly dry surfaces.
Remember that sealing compound will not stick to a wet surface.

  [Fig. 230 First pouring of sealing compound]

  [Fig. 231 Cooling compound with electric fan]

Pour compound on the lower covers, as in Fig. 229. Use enough to fill
the case just over the tops of the jars, Fig. 230. Then pour the rest
of the compound back in compound vessel or kettle. To complete the
job, and make as good a job as possible, take a small hot lead burning
flame and run it around the edges of case, tops of jars, and around
the posts until the compound runs and makes a good contact all around.
If you have an electric fan, let it blow on the compound a few minutes
to cool it, as in Fig. 231. Then the compound used for the second
pouring may be hotter and thinner than the first.

Fill the pouring ladle with compound, which is thinner than that used
in the first pouring, and pour within 1/16 inch of the top of the
case, being careful to get in just enough, so that-after it has
cooled, the covers will press down exactly even with the top of the
case, Fig. 232. It will require some experience to do this, but you
will soon learn just how much to use.

As soon as you have finished pouring, run the flame all around the
edges of the case and around the post, being very careful not to
injure any of the vent tubes. A small, hot-pointed flame should be
used. Now turn on the fan again to cool the compound.

  [Fig. 232 Second pouring of sealing compound]

While the compound is cooling, get the cell connectors and terminal
connectors, put them in a two-quart granite stew pan, just barely
cover with water, and sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda over them.
Set the stew pan over the fire and bring water to boiling point. Then
pour the water on some spot on a bench or floor where the acid has
been spilled. This helps to neutralize the acid and keep it from
injuring the wood or cement. Rinse off the connectors and wipe them
dry with a cloth, or heat them to dry them.

  [Fig. 233 Pressing covers down to make them level with top
   of case]

Now take the top covers, which must be absolutely clean and dry, and
spread a thin coat of vaseline over the top only, wiping off any
vaseline from the beveled edges. Place these covers right side up on a
clean board and heat perfectly limp with a large, spreading blow torch
flame. Never apply this flame to the under side of the top covers. The
purpose is to get the covers on top of the battery absolutely level,
and exactly even with the top of the case all around it, and to have
them sticking firmly to the compound. There is not an operation in
repairing and rebuilding batteries that requires greater care than
this one, that will show as clearly just what kind of a workman you
are, or will count as much in appearance for a finished job. If you
are careless with any of the detail, if just one bump appears on top,
if one top is warped, if one cover sticks above top of case, try as
you may, you never can cover it up, and show you are a first-class
workman. See that you have these four conditions, and you should not
have any difficulty after a little experience:

  [Fig. 234 Pressing covers down around posts to make them
   flush with top of case]

1. You must have just enough compound on top to allow the top covers
to be pressed down exactly even with upper edge of case.

2. The top covers must be absolutely clean and have a thin coat of
vaseline over their top, but none on the bevel edge.

3. A good sized spreading flame to heat quickly and evenly the tops to
a perfectly limp condition without burning or scorching them.

4. Procure a piece of 7/8-inch board 1-1/2 inches wide and just long
enough to go between handles of battery you are working on. Spread a
thin film of oil or vaseline all over it.

Having heated the covers and also the top surface of the compound
until it is sticky so that the covers may be put down far enough and
adhere firmly to it, place the covers in position. Then press the
covers down firmly with a piece of oiled wood, as in Fig. 233,
applying the wood sidewise and lengthwise of case until the top of
cover is exactly even with the top of the case. It may be necessary to
use the wood on end around the vent tubes and posts as in Fig. 234, to
get that part of the cover level. If the compound comes up between
covers and around the edges of the case, and interferes with the use
of the wood, clean it out with a screwdriver. You can then finish
without smearing any compound on the covers.

  [Fig. 235 Wiping bottom of spoon filled with sealing

  [Fig. 236 Filling cracks around covers with sealing

When you have removed the excess compound from the cracks around the
edges of the covers with the screwdriver, take a large iron spoon
which has the end bent into a pouring lip, and dip up from 1/2 to 2/3
of a spoonful of melted compound (not too hot). Wipe off the bottom of
the spoon, Fig. 235, and pour a small stream of compound evenly in all
the cracks around the edges of the covers until they are full, as in
Fig. 236. Do not hold the spoon too high, and do not smear or drop any
compound on top of battery or on the posts. No harm is done if a
little runs over the outside of the case, except that it requires a
little time to clean it off. A small teapot may be used instead of the
spoon. If you have the compound at the right temperature, and do not
put in too much at a time, you will obtain good results, but you
should take care not to spill the compound over covers or case.

  [Fig. 237 Final operation of cleaning off excess compound]

After the last compound has cooled,--this requires only a few
minutes,--take a putty knife, and scrape off all the surplus
compound, making it even with the top of the covers and case, Fig.
.237. Be careful not to dig into a soft place in the compound with the
putty knife. If you have done your work right, and have followed
directions explicitly, you have scraped off the compound with one
sweep of the putty knife over each crack, leaving the compound smooth
and level. You will be surprised to see how finished the battery looks.

Some workmen pour hot compound clear to the top of the case and then
hurry to put on a cold, dirty top. What happens? The underside of the
cover, coming in contact with the hot compound, expands and lengthens
out, curling the top surface beyond redemption. As you push down one
corner, another goes up, and it is impossible to make the covers level.

Sealing Single Cover Batteries

Single cover batteries are scaled in a similar manner. The covers are
put in place before any compound is poured in. Covers should first be
steamed to make them soft and pliable. The surfaces which come in
contact with the sealing compound must be perfectly dry and free from
acid. Before pouring in any compound, run a soft flame over the
surfaces which are to be sealed, so as to dry them and warm them.
Close up all cracks between Jars and covers as already directed. Then
pour the cover channels half full of sealing compound, which must not
be too thin. Now run a soft flame over the compound until it flows
freely and unites with the covers and jars. Allow the compound to

For the second pouring, somewhat hotter compound may be used. Fill the
cover channels flush with the top of the case, and again run a soft
flame over the compound to make it flow freely and unite with the
covers, and to give it a glossy finish. If any compound has run over
on the covers or case, remove it with a hot putty knife.

Burning-on the Cell Connectors

With the covers in place, the next operation is to burn in the cell
connectors. Directions for doing this are given on page 213. If you
did not fill the jars with electrolyte before sealing the covers, do
so now. See page 364.

Marking the Battery

You should have a set of stencil letters and mark every battery you
rebuild or repair. Stamp "POS," "P," or "+" on positive terminal and
"NEG," "N," or on negative terminal. Then stamp your initials, the
date that you finished rebuilding the battery, and the date that
battery left the factory, on the top of the connectors. Record the
factory date, and type of battery in a book, also your date mark and
what was done to the battery. By doing this, you will always be able
to settle disputes that may arise, as you will know when you repaired
the battery, and what was done.

To go one step farther, keep a record of condition of plates, and
number of new plates, if you have used any. Grade the plates in three
divisions, good, medium and doubtful. The "doubtful" division will
grow smaller as you become experienced and learn by their appearance
the ones to be discarded and not used in a rebuilt battery. There is
no question that even the most experienced man will occasionally make
a mistake in judgment, as there is no way of knowing what a battery
has been subjected to during its life before it is brought to you.

Cleaning and Painting the Case

The next operation is to thoroughly clean the case; scrape off all
compound that has been spilled on it, and also any grease or dirt. If
any grease is on the case, wipe off with rag soaked in gasoline.
Unless the case is clean, the paint will not dry. Brush the sides and
end with a wire brush; also brighten the name plate. Then coat the
case with good asphaltum paint. Any good turpentine asphaltum is
excellent for this purpose. If it is too thick, thin it with
turpentine, but be sure to mix well before using, as it does not mix
readily. Use a rather narrow brush, but of good quality. Paint all
around the upper edge, first drawing the brush straight along the
edges, just to the outer edges of rubber tops. Now paint the sides,
ends and handles, but be careful not to cover the nameplate. To
finish, put a second, and thick coat all around top edge to protect
edge of case. Paint will soak in around the edge on top of an old case
more easily than on the body of the case as it is more porous.

Charging the Rebuilt Battery

With the battery completely assembled, the next step is to charge it
at about one-third of the starting or normal charge rate. For
batteries having a capacity of 80 ampere hours or more, use a current
of 5 amperes. Do not start the charge until at least 12 hours after
filling with electrolyte. This allows the electrolyte to cool. Then
add water to bring electrolyte up to correct level if necessary. The
specific gravity will probably at first drop to 1.220-1.240, and will
then begin to rise.

Continue the charge until the specific gravity and voltage do not rise
during the last 5 hours of the charge. The cell voltage at the end of
the charge should be 2.5 to 2.7, measured while the battery is still
on charge. Make Cadmium tests on both positive and negatives. The
positives should give a Cadmium reading of 2.4 or more. The negatives
should give a reversed reading of 0.175. The tests should be made near
the end of the charge, with the cell voltages at about 2.7. The
Cadmium readings will tell the condition of the plates better than
specific gravity readings. The Cadmium readings are especially
valuable when new plates have been installed, to determine whether the
new plates are, fully charged. When Cadmium readings indicate that the
plates are fully charged, and specific gravity readings have not
changed for five hours, the battery is fully charged. If you have put
in new plates, charge for at least 96 hours.

Measure the temperature of the electrolyte occasionally, and if it
should go above 110°F., either cut down the charging current, or take
the battery off charge long enough to allow the electrolyte to cool
below 90°F.

Adjusting the Electrolyte

If the specific gravity of the electrolyte is 1.280 to 1.300 at the
end of the charge, the battery is ready for testing. If the specific
gravity is below or above these figures, draw off as much electrolyte
as you can with the hydrometer. If the specific gravity is below
1.280, add enough 1.400 specific gravity electrolyte with the
hydrometer to bring the level up to the correct height (about 1/2 inch
above tops of plates). If the specific gravity is above 1.300, add
a-similar amount of distilled water instead of electrolyte. If the
specific gravity is not more than 15 points (.015) too low or too
high, adjust as directed above. If the variation is greater than this,
pour out all the electrolyte and add fresh 1.280 specific gravity

After adjusting the electrolyte, continue the charge until the gravity
of all cells is 1.280-1.300, and there is no further change in gravity
for at least two hours. Then take the battery off charge and make a
final measurement of the specific gravity. Measure the temperature at
the same time, and if it varies more than 10° above or below 70°,
correct the hydrometer readings by adding one point (.001 sp. gr.) for
each 3 degrees above 70°, and subtracting one point (.001 sp. gr.) for
each 3 degrees below 70°. Be sure to wipe off any electrolyte which
you spilled on the battery in adjusting the electrolyte or measuring
the specific gravity. Use a rag dipped in ammonia, or baking soda

High Rate Discharge

Whenever you have time to do so, make a 20-minute high rate discharge
test on the rebuilt battery, as described on page 266. This test will
show up any defect in the battery, such as a poorly burned joint, or a
missing separator, and will show if battery is low in capacity. If the
test gives satisfactory results, the battery is in good condition, and
ready to be put into service, after being charged again to replace the
energy used by the test.




Exide batteries may be classified according to their cover
constructions as follows:

1. Batteries with single flange covers, as shown in Figs. 15 and 238.
This class includes types DX, LX, LXR, LXRV, PHC, XC, XX, and XXV.

  [Fig. 238 Exide Battery, partly disassembled]

2. Batteries with double flange covers, as shown in Fig. 242. This
class includes types MHA, KZ, KXD, LXRE, and XE. The cover
constructions are-described in Chapter 3.

All Exide batteries, except types KXD, LXRE, and XE, have burned-in
lead top connectors. All types have a removable sealing nut around
each post to make a tight joint between the post and cell cover, as
described on page 19. Formerly some Exide batteries had cell
connectors which were bolted to the cell posts, but this construction
is now obsolete. Types KXD, LXRE, and XE have cell connectors made of
flexible, lead coated copper strips.

Types DX, LX, LXR, LXRV, MHA, PHC, XC, XX, and XXV have been designed
and built to meet the requirements of starting, lighting and ignition
service for passenger automobiles and power boats.

Types KXD, LXRE, and XE have been especially developed to meet the
requirements of the starting, lighting and ignition service on motor
trucks and tractors.

Type KZ has been produced particularly for motorcycle lighting and
ignition service.

  [Fig. 239 Exide Battery with Single Flange Cover]

Type Numbers

The type of an Exide battery is stamped on the battery name plate.
Thus, on one of the most popular Exide batteries is marked Type
3-XC-13-1. Other Exide batteries have different numerals and letters
in their type numbers, but the numerals., and letters are always
arranged in the same order as given above. The first numeral gives the
number of cells. The letters give the type of cell. The numerals
following the letters give the number of plates per cell. The last
numeral indicates the manner of arranging the cells in the battery
case. Thus, in the example given above, 3-XC-13-1 indicates that there
are three cells in the battery, that the type of cell is XC, that each
cell has 13 plates, and that the cells are arranged according to
method No. 1, this being a side to side assembly.

Methods of Holding Jars in Case

Two methods of holding Exide jars in the battery case are used:

1. Types MHA, KXD, LXRE, and XE have the jars separated by horizontal
wooden spacers, there being two spacers between adjoining jars.
Running horizontally between these two spacers are tie bolts which
pass through the case. These bolts are tightened after the jars are
placed in the case, thus pressing the sides of the case against the
jars and holding them in, place.

Types KXD, LXRE, and XE, in addition to the tie bolts, are secured in
the case by sealing compound beneath and around the jars. Each cell is
provided with two soft rubber buffers which are V shaped, and are
placed over the ridges in the bottom of the jars, thereby minimizing
the effect of shocks on the plates and separators which rest on the

2. In types DX, LX, LXR, LXRV, PHC, XC, XX, and XXV, there are no
spacers between adjoining jars, and the jars simply fit tight in the
case. Should they not fit tight enough to hold them in place securely,
thin boards are inserted between the jars and the case to pack them in.

Type KZ has the three sets of plates in one jar, having three
compartments, with a three compartment cover.

Opening Exide Batteries

1. Drilling Off the Top Connectors. Do this as described on page 329.
For type KZ batteries use a 3/8 inch drill. For all other types use a
5/8 inch drill.

2. Removing Plates from Jars. Follow the general instructions on page

Types DX, LX, LXR, LXRV, PHC, XC, XX, and XXV. In opening these
batteries, all of which have the single flange cover, you may remove
each cell complete from the case, and then draw out the plates; or you
may draw out the plates without taking out the jars. To remove the
complete cell, heat a thin bladed putty knife and work it down all
around the outside of the jar. Then lift out the complete cell by
pulling steadily on the cell posts with two pairs of gas pliers. The
battery should be placed on the floor when you do this, and you should
stand with one foot pressed against the side of the case.

If you do not wish to remove the complete cells, or should the jars
fit too tight in the case, unseal the covers and remove the plates
according to the instructions given on page 333.

Types KZ and MHA. These batteries have the double flanged cover.
Several methods may be used in removing the plates from the jars. In
each case, the top of the cell is cleaned, gas blown out of the vent
holes, and the sealing nuts removed before opening the cells.

  [Fig. 240 Removing double flange exide cover]

First, a flame may be used to soften the sealing compound which is
placed in the slot formed by the two flanges of the cover. If you wish
to use a flame, first remove each complete cell from the case,
loosening the tie bolts that pass through the case to release the
jars. Then hit out each complete cell. Now get two strong boards which
are about one fourth inch longer than the height of the jar. See Fig.
240. Support the jar on these boards by resting the lower edge of the
sides of the cover on the top edge of the boards. Then run a moderate
flame around the outside of the flange until the cover is soft, and
the compound melting. Then press down on the cell posts with your
thumbs, and the jar and plates will drop free of the cover. The
plates are then drawn out and rested on the top of the jars to drain,
as usual.

Another method is to remove the cells from the case and put them in
the battery steamer for ten minutes as described on page 332. Instead
of first taking the complete cells out of the case and then steaming
them separately, you may steam the entire battery for about ten
minutes, and then draw out the plates and cover of each cell with gas
pliers without removing the jars. This method must be used in opening
types KXD, LXRE, and XE, which have sealing compound under the jars.

Work on Plates, Separators, Jars, and Case

Having opened the battery, follow the instructions given on pages 335
to 361 for examination of plates and separators, and all work on
plates, jars, separators, and case.

Reassembling Plates

  [Fig. 241 Upsetting threads to prevent nut from turning]

First slip the positive and negative groups together without
separators. Then wipe the posts with a rag moistened with ammonia,
rinse them with water, and dry thoroughly with a clean rag. Next slip
the soft rubber washers over the posts and place the cover in
position. Lubricate the lead sealing nuts with graphite that has been
mixed to a paste with water. Do not use grease or vaseline to
lubricate these nuts. Then put on the sealing nuts and tighten them
partly with your fingers.

You are now ready to insert the separators as directed on page 361.
Types MHA, PHC, KXD, KZ, LXR, LXRE, LXRV, XX, and XXV have, in
addition to the usual wooden separators, perforated rubber sheets,
which should be placed against the grooved side of each wooden
separator before inserting, and insert with rubber sheet against the

Make a careful examination to see that you have not left out any

When the separators are all in place, even them up on each side. Then
tighten the sealing nuts with the special Exide wrench. When you have
turned the nuts down tight, lock them in place by driving a center
punch on the threads on the post just above the nut, Fig. 241. This
will damage the thread and prevent the nut from turning loose.

Putting Plates In Jars

The next step is to lower the plates into the jars, as described on
page 362. In types KXD, LXRE, and XE be sure to first replace the two
soft rubber buffers in the bottom of the jar, one over each ridge.

Filling Jars With Electrolyte

As soon as you have an element in place in the jar, fill the jar with
electrolyte of the proper strength, as described on page 364, to
prevent the separators and plates from drying. The negatives,
especially, must be covered with electrolyte to prevent them from
heating and drying.

Sealing Exide Battery Covers

  [Fig. 242 Laying "worm" of sealing compound]

  [Image: Chart showing capacity of Exide batteries]

For Types DX, LX, LXR, LXRV, PHC, XC, XX, and XXV, which have the
single flange type of cover, slowly heat the sealing compound until it
runs, but do not get it so thin that it will run down into the cell
between the cover and jar. Then pour it into the channel between cover
and jar walls. Allow it to cool and finish it off flush with a hot
knife. When pouring, be sure the compound is liquid and not lumpy, as
in such a case a poor seal will result. A glossy, finished appearance
may be given to the compound by passing a flame over it after the job
is finished.

For Types KXD, KZ, LXRE, MHA, and XE, which have the double flange
type of cover, have ready a string or worm of sealing compound about
3-16 inch in diameter, made by rolling between boards some of the
special compound furnished for the purpose. The cover may or may not
have been attached to the element, depending on how repairs have been
made. In either case the procedure is the same as far as sealing is
concerned. Assuming the element is attached, stand it upside down,
with the cover resting upon two strips, Fig. 242. Lay the string of
compound all around the cover channel. Now turn right side up and
insert in the jar, taking care that the jar walls enter the cover
channels at all points. Apply heat carefully to the edges of the cover
and gently force cover clown. If too much compound has been used, so
that it squeezes out around the cover, scrape off the excess with a
hot knife while forcing cover down.

Putting Cells In Case

When the covers have all been sealed, put the cells in the case,
taking care to put the negative and positive posts in their proper
positions, so that each cell connector will connect a positive to a
negative post.

In Types MHA, KXD, LXRE, and XE, which have wooden spacers between the
cells, take care that the spacers are in position and then, after
cells are in place, tighten the tie bolts with a screw driver to clamp
the jars.

In Types DX, LX, LXR, LXRV, SX, XC, XX, and XXV the cells should fit
tight in the case; pack them in with thin boards if necessary.

Burning on the Cell Connectors

See instructions on pages 213 to 216.

Charging After Repairing

See also instructions on page 373.

Not sooner than ten to fifteen hours after filling battery with
electrolyte, add electrolyte to restore level if it has fallen.


The instructions for rebuilding batteries which have already been
given, pages 328 to 374, apply also to all U. S. L. batteries. In
working on the old U. S. L. batteries, illustrated in Fig. 243, draw
out the electrolyte down to the tops of the plates so that the
electrolyte is below the lower end of the vent tube. Then blow out any
gas which may have collected under the cover with compressed air or
bellows. Never fail to do this, as there is only a small vent hole in
the cover through which the gas can escape, the vent tubes extending
down into the electrolyte when the cells are properly filled.

  [Fig. 243 Cross section of old type USL battery]

  [Fig. 244 Cross section of new type USL battery]

Fig. 244 shows the new U. S. L. cover construction. Note that the
special cell filling device is no longer used. U. S. L. batteries have
lead bushings moulded into the cover. These bushings fit around the
posts, and are burned to the posts and top connectors, Figs. 243 and
244, thus giving leak proof joints between the cover and the posts. In
burning on the connectors, melt bottom edge of hole first, then top of
post and cover bushing, and melt in your burning lead slowly.

  [Image: Chart showing capacity of USL batteries, Page 1]

  [Image: Chart showing capacity of USL batteries, Page 2]


  [Fig. 245 Old type Prest-O-Lite battery with lead bushings
   that screw up into cover]

Some of the old Prest-O-Lite batteries have a lead bushing around the
post, Fig. 245, similar to the U. S. L. batteries. This will make a
perfectly tight seal, provided that you screw the bushing up tight.
The new types of Prest-O-Lite batteries have a "Peened" post seal,
special instructions for which follow.

The general instructions for rebuilding batteries given on pages 328
to 374 apply to Prest-O-Lite batteries in every respect. The "Peened"
post seal is, however, a special construction, and directions for
working on this seal are as follows:

  [Fig. 246 Prest-O-Lite Element Locked]

All Prest-O-Lite batteries designated as Types WHN, RIJN, BHN, JFN,
KPN, and SHC, have a single moulded cover which is locked directly on
to the posts of the element. This feature is the result of forcing a
solid ring of lead from a portion of the post, projecting above the
cover, down into a deep chamfer in the top of the cover. Figs. 246 and
247 show this construction.

This construction makes a solid unit of the cover and element, which
does away with the sealing compound, washers, nuts, etc., for making
the acid tight seal around the posts.

The locking operation requires some special instructions and shop
equipment for assembly and all repairs which involve removal from and
replacement of the cover on the element.

The majority of battery repairs such as renewal of jars, separators,
straightening of plates, and removal of sediment, can be made without
separating the cover and element. In such cases the connectors are
drilled off, compound is softened and removed from around the covers
and the complete unit is removed from the cell. It may be handled
throughout the repair as a unit, and the cover serves as a bridge to
hold the plates of both groups in line just as they remain in the jar.

  [Fig. 247 Sectional view of Prest-O-Lite battery with peened
   post seal]

However, where the cover is broken or must be replaced for other
reasons, when plates have to be renewed, or the posts have been broken
off below the cover, the element and cover must be separated.

All the apparatus and special tools which are used in connection with
the locking, as well as the building-up, unlocking (freeing), and
rebuilding, of the posts in all Prest-O-Lite battery types are grouped
together and collectively termed the type "N" Post Locking Outfit.

This outfit, complete, is carried in stock at all Prest-O-Lite
warehouses under the part number 27116. Each of the individual parts
or tools also has a separate part number and may be bought separately.

Prest-O-Lite Type "N" Post Locking Outfit

Arbor Press (complete with following 12 parts)                        27115
Main Casting                                                          27114
Latch                                                                 27107
Bed Plate                                                             27113
Lever                                                                 27108
Rack                                                                  27211
Washer                                                                27112
Pinion Shaft                                                          27110
Pinion                                                                27109
Latch Pin                                                             27111
*Special CLN & KPN Spacer                                             27233
*Special CLN & KPN Latch                                              27232
*Special CLN & KPN Bed Plate                                          27234
Large Peening Tool (9-21 RHN, WHN, BHN, SHC, KPN, CLN; 11-17 JFN)     27101
Small Peening Tool (7-WHN, RHN, SHC; 9-JFN)                           27100
Peening Tool for small terminal posts in which are east threaded
   brass inserts (Columbia)                                           27105
Large Post Freeing Tool                                               27103
Small Post Freeing Tool                                               27102
No. 8 Post Freeing Tool (13/16" diameter straight post)               27123
[1] Large Post Re-Builder
   (9-21 RHN, WHN, BHN, SHC, KPN, CLN; 11-17 JFN)                     27005
[1] Small Post Re-Builder (7-WHN, RHN, SHC; 9-JFN)                    27004
[2] Ford Positive Post Builder                                        27006
[2] Ford Negative Post Builder                                        27224
2 No. 8 Post Builder (13/16" diameter straight post)                  27225
Style "B" Prest-O-Lite Torch, with six feet of red gum tubing        A-3116
Automatic Reducing Valve                                              A-427
COMPLETE TYPE "N" OUTFIT including all parts above                    27116

* The CLN and KPN Spacer block, bent Latch and Bed Plate are special
parts used only in the Arbor Press when it is especially assembled to
lock CLN or KPN posts.

[1] The Re-Builder is used to build up posts before attempting to lock
on the cover. The replacing of the metal cut away from the original
diameter of the post when the jar cover was removed is necessary to
the correct operation of the Peening Tool.

[2] The Builder is used to build up posts, after they have been locked
and shaped by the Peening Tool, to a size large enough to take some
special terminal. For example, the Ford Positive Post Builder is used
in building up posts, locked by the Large Peening Tool, to the proper
size to take the Ford positive terminal.

The Automatic Reducing Valve delivers the gas from the P-O-L tank at a
uniform pressure of 3 pounds per square inch, whether the tank is
full, half empty, or nearly empty, and regardless of the volume of gas
used. The volume or flow of gas is regulated by the key.

The style "B" torch mixes the pure acetylene from the gas tank with
the proper amount of air necessary to an efficient heating flame.

The heating flame is conducted or delivered to the Peening Tool by the
short length of brass tubing known as the Torch-Holder, over which the
"B" Torch is pressed by hand in completing the assembly.

  [Fig. 248 Special Prest-O-Lite Peening Press]

Both the "B" Torch and the Automatic Reducing Valve are absolutely
essential to the use of the Prest-O-Lite gas tank for heating the
Peening Tool.

Prest-O-Lite gas tanks, style A, B, C, or E, may be used in connection
with the Automatic Reducing Valve, as shown in Fig. 248. To use a
welding size gas tank it is necessary to insert a "W to A" Adapter
between the tank and Reducing Valve. This Adapter can be purchased
from the Prest-O-Lite Co., Inc.

The Arbor Press when received by the Service Station is fully
assembled, ready for mounting and operation with all P-O-L locked post
types except CLN and KPN.

Mount the Press in a vertical position (Fig. 248) in a convenient
place and at an accessible height on a wall or post. Holes are
provided in the Press for mounting by lag screws or bolts. The
position of the Peening Tool should be well below the level of the
eyes, to prevent serious injury from a possible spattering of
overheated lead.

Screw the proper size Peening Tool into the bottom of the Press rack,
as shown in Fig. 248. The Torch-Holder must be removed from the
Peening Tool to do this; it should be immediately replaced.

In using the Press to lock CLN or KPN posts it is necessary to remove
the Bed Plate and the Latch, and replace these parts with the Special
Bed Plate and Special Latch provided for this purpose, using the
spacing block or Spacer (also provided) between the Special Bed Plate
and the bottom of the Press.

  [Fig. 249 Reaming Prest-O-Lite peened post to remove cover]

Connect the "B" Torch to the Peening Tool. The Torch is merely pressed
by the hand over the Torch-Holder.

Connect the Torch with the Automatic Reducing Valve on the gas tank by
the rubber tubing, and turn on the gas and light. The flame should be
blue and hot.

Allow the Peening Tool to become just hot enough to melt the end of a
piece of 50-50 solder. Do not allow it to get any hotter than this.
The tool is then ready for use. The flame may be left on while the
Tool is in use. In case the Tool becomes too hot turn the flame off
and allow it to cool to the proper temperature before using.

To Remove Cell Covers from Elements

Drill off cell connectors and terminals as usual. Insert the proper
size Freeing Tool (or reamer), furnished with the outfit, in an
ordinary hand-power drill press or bit-and-brace. With this reamer
remove the ring of metal or flange on the post, thereby releasing the
cell cover. Fig. 249. The Freeing Tool should not be used in a
power-driven press, as slow speed is essential to prevent breaking
cell covers. To get the best results, center the Freeing Tool over the
post, gradually forcing it down, at the same time keep it turning
slowly until the ring of metal which locks the post in the cover has
been removed. A little machine oil should be put on the metal directly
under the tool for this operation. After the metal ring has been
removed, the cover can be easily lifted off the posts, Fig. 250.

  [Fig. 250 Removing Prest-O-Lite cover]

  [Fig. 251 Building up posts on Prest-O-Lite element]

The use of the Freeing Tool in removing the cell cover cuts away a
certain amount of metal from the diameter of the posts. Before these
posts can be relocked by the Peening Tool in replacing the cell cover
they must be built up in size or diameter again so that there will be
enough lead to insure a tight joint.

To Rebuild Posts

Thoroughly clean the post. Place the proper Post Re-Builder so that it
rests on the shoulder of the post, and run in enough new lead to fill
the Re-Builder. Fig. 251. Be sure and bring the lead surface of the
post into fusion before the new lead is run in, to insure a strong

To build a smooth, solid post, be sure that the post is thoroughly
clean; then use a hot flame.

To Lock or Peen Posts

(1) Assemble positive and negative groups without separators, and
paint the posts (just above the shoulder) with hot sealing compound.

(2) Prepare the cell covers by immersing them in hot water until they
are flexible.

(3) Place a warmed cover over the posts of the two assembled groups
(the elements). Fig. 252.

  [Fig. 252 Replacing Prest-O-Lite cover on built-up posts]

(4) Slide the element over the Bed Plate directly under Peening Tool,
with the bottom of the plate connectors resting on the Bed Plate. (See
Fig. 253).

(5) Pull down the Latch to hold the Bed Plate in alignment.

(6) Center the post with Peening Tool. Then force the Peening Tool
down slowly until it has covered about two-thirds of the distance to
the cover. Pause in this operation to allow the metal of the post to
become heated; then force tool the rest of the distance. Raise the
Peening Tool slightly and force down again.

(7) Release the Latch, withdraw and reverse the element, and repeat
operations 4, 5 and 6 on the other post.

(8) The assembled groups are now ready to receive separators.

  [Fig. 253 Peening Prest-O-Lite post with special peening press]

Precautions in Post Locking Operations

1--Be sure all covers are warmed until they are flexible before
attempting to assemble.

2--Be sure that the Peening Tool is not too hot. If it is, the post
will melt away and be ruined. A very hot tool sometimes causes
dangerous spattering of hot lead.

3--Be sure that the post is centered with the Peening Tool before
forcing the Tool down on the post.

4--Be sure the cover has been forced down, so that it rests on the
shoulder of the post, before releasing.

General Instructions

In breaking in a new Peening Tool it is advisable to squirt several
drops of machine oil inside the Tool, as well as putting some oil on
the top of the post, before forcing the hot Tool down over the post.
This will prevent the Tool from sticking to the post.

If the Peening Tool should stick to the post, force the Tool down
again, being certain that the cover is slightly compressed. Sticking
of the Peening Tool indicates either that the Tool has not yet been
broken in, or that there is not sufficient compression in the cover to
free the Tool on releasing the pressure on the lever of the Press.

To repair the 13/16" diameter straight terminal post, the Ford
positive terminal post, the Ford negative terminal post, it is good
practice to remove the cover in the usual manner, then cut the upper
portion of the posts off and rebuild them with the large Post
Re-Builder. Reassemble the element and cover in the recommended manner
and then use the proper Post Builder to burn the post to its original

Standard Types of Prest-O-Lite Starting, Lighting and Ignition

  [Image: Chart for Prest-O-Lite starting batteries, 6-volt]

  [Image: Chart for Prest-O-Lite starting batteries, 12-volt]

  [Image: Chart for Prest-O-Lite starting batteries, 16-18-24
   and 30-volt]

  [Image: Chart for Prest-O-Lite special heavy duty truck
   batteries for starting and light; Chart for 6-volt
   lighting and ignition types]


Old Type

  [Fig. 254 Cross section of old type Philadelphia diamond grid

Figs. 254 and 255 show the construction of the old type Philadelphia
Diamond Grid. Battery. Figs. 254 and 256 show the diamond shaped grid
from which the battery derives its name. It is claimed that this
construction gives a very strong grid, holding the active materials
firmly in place, and giving a large amount of contact surface between
the grid and the active material.

Figs. 254 and 255 show the old type battery, and give the details of
the cover, terminal posts, vent plug, and so on. The post seal is made
tight by pouring the compound into the cover well so that it flows in
around all of the petticoats on the post.

  [Fig. 255 Cross section old type Philadelphia Diamond Grid]

This construction increases the distance that the acid must travel
along the post, in order to cause a leak, about two and one-half times
the vertical distance on a smooth post. The hard rubber washer which
fits around the post acts as a lock to prevent the post from turning.
This applies especially to the two terminal posts to which the cables
are attached. The washer is intended to prevent any strain in the
cable from turning the post and breaking the seal between the post and
the compound.

New Development in the Philadelphia Battery

  [Fig. 256 Cross section new type Philadelphia battery]

  [Fig. 257 New type Philadelphia Diamond Grid Battery]

Rubber Lockt Seal Covers. During the last few years there has been a
marked tendency in the battery industry to do away with the use of
sealing compound for making a joint between the cell cover and the
terminal posts and to substitute a mechanical seal of some kind at
this joint. The Philadelphia Storage Battery Co. has developed the
"Rubber Lockt". cover seal, the construction of which is shown in
detail in Figs. 256 and 257. On the cell posts there is a. flange
which supports the cover, and above this there is a recessed portion
into which is slipped a soft rubber sleeve or bushing. This portion of
the post is made with a ridge extending around the post and with the
rubber sleeve forming a high point over which a corresponding locking
edge in the terminal hole of the cover is snapped. This construction
makes a joint which is flexible and at the same time acid tight.
Vibration tends to push the cover down on the supporting flanges, as
the post diameter is smaller below the locking edge. The design is
simple, both from the assembly and the repair standpoint, as no tools
are required for either operation. In the assembly operation the
groups are lined up so that the post centers are correct and, after
wetting the soft rubber sleeves, the cover is snapped in place with a
quick downward push. See Fig. 258. In removing the covers, catch under
each end with the fingers and pull upward, at the same time pressing
with the thumbs on the top of the posts. See Fig. 259.

  [Fig. 258 Replacing cover of Philadelphia Diamond Grid Battery]

  [Fig. 259 Removing cover of Philadelphia Diamond Grid Battery]

Rubber Case Batteries. Another development of recent years consists of
the replacing of the wood case and rubber jars by a one-piece
container of hard rubber with compartments for the elements The
Philadelphia Storage Battery Co. has developed the Diamond Rubber
case, which combines strength and lightness with an attractive
appearance. See Fig. 260. One of the troubles experienced with the
earlier designs of the rubber case was the bulging of the end, due to
the pull of the battery hold down rod on a small handle attached to
the center of the end. In the Philadelphia battery this has been
overcome by the use of a wide handle which snaps into openings in the
end of the case in such a way that the pull on the handle is
transferred to the sides. Another feature of this type handle is that
it is a separate piece snapped into the case without the use of any
metal insert in the rubber case, and if the handle should break, it
can be replaced at small expense without the use of any tools.

  [Fig. 260 Philadelphia Diamond Grid Battery with rubber case]

The Philadelphia vent plug is of the bayonet type, and is tightened by
a quarter turn. The plug simply has a small vent hole in the top, and
may either be taken out or left on while battery is charging.

The Philadelphia Separator

The Philadelphia separator is made of quarter sawed hardwood. It has a
hard resinous wood in which the hard and soft portions occur in
regular alternating vertical layers. The soft layers are porous, and
permit the diffusion of the acid from plate to plate. The hard layers
give the separator stiffness and long life. The alternating hard and
soft layers are at right angles to the surface of the separator, so
that the electrolyte has a direct path between plates.

The methods of repairing Philadelphia Diamond Grid batteries are no
different from those already given, on pages 328 to 374.

When the elements of the old type batteries have been assembled and
returned to the jars, put the covers in place, and pour the compound
around the edges of the cover, and in the post wells. The old compound
must be removed from the petticoats on the posts before new compound
is poured in. The compound must be warm and thin enough to flow around
and fill up the petticoat spaces on the posts in order to get a good
seal. When the post wells are full of compound, and while compound is
still warm, put on the square sealing washers and press them down so
that the holes in the washers fit closely around the octagonal part of
the posts.


It is claimed by the manufacturers that the sulphate which forms in
the Eveready battery during discharge always remains in the porous,
convertible form, and never crystallizes and becomes injurious, even
though the battery is allowed to stand idle on open circuit for a
considerable length of time. Due to this fact, the Eveready battery is
called a "Non-Sulphating Battery."

The manufacturers state that Eveready batteries which have stood idle
or in a discharged condition for months do not suffer the damages
which usually result from such treatment, namely: buckling, and
injurious sulphation. The plates do become sulphated, but the sulphate
remains in the porous, non-crystalline state in which it forms.
Charging such a battery at its normal rate is all that is necessary to
bring it back to its normal, healthy condition. Due to the excessive
amount of sulphate which forms when the battery stands idle or
discharged for a long time, it is necessary to give the battery 50
percent overcharge to remove all the sulphate and bring the battery
back to a healthy working condition. The colors of the plates are good
guides as to their condition at the end of the charge. The positives
should be free from blotches of white sulphate, and should have a dark
brown or chocolate color. The negatives should have a bright gray or
slate color.

Description of Parts

Eveready plates are of two general types. Plates of the R type are
each provided with two feet on lower ends, the positive set and the
negative set resting on two separate pairs of bridges in the jars,
thereby preventing the sediment which accumulates on top of bridges
from short circuiting a cell.

Plates of the M type, instead of having feet, are cut away where they
pass over the bridges of the opposite group. See Fig. 261. This
construction secures a greater capacity for a given space, and gives
the same protection against short circuit from sediment as the foot
construction does, since the same amount of sediment must accumulate
with either type of plate to cause a short circuit.

  [Fig. 261 Type "M" Eveready grid]

The separators used in Eveready batteries are made of cherry wood
because it is a hard wood which will resist wear, is of uniform
texture, even porosity, and has a long life in a given degree and
condition of acid.

Eveready cherry wood separators go to the repair man in a dry
condition, as they do not require chemical treatment. Separators when
received should be soaked in 1.250 specific gravity acid for four days
or longer in order to expand them to proper size and remove natural
impurities from the wood. After being fully expanded they should be
stored moist as previously described. Stock separators may be kept
indefinitely in this solution and can be used as required. Fig. 262
shows the top construction in the Eveready battery.

  [Fig. 262 Eveready Battery, cell connectors covered by compound]

Cell connectors are heavily constructed and are sealed over solidly
with a flexible sealing compound, Fig. 262. Two types of cell
connectors are used-the crescent and the heavy or "three way" type.

Repairing Eveready Batteries

To properly open and re-assemble an Eveready battery, proceed as

1. Take a hot putty knife and cut the compound from the top of each of
the inter-cell connectors until the entire top of the connector is

2. Center punch tops of cell connectors and terminal posts.

3. Drill off cell connectors. In drilling off crescent cell connector
use 1/2 inch drill, and for heavy type connector use 5/8 inch drill.

Drill deep enough, usually 3/8 to 1/2 inch, until a seam between
connector and post is visible around lower edge of hole. Having
drilled holes in both ends of connector, heat connector with soft
flame until compound adhering to it becomes soft. Then take a 1/2 inch
or 5/8 inch round iron or bolt, depending on connector to be removed,
insert in one of the holes, and pry connector off with a side to side
motion, being careful not to carry this motion so far as to jam
connector into top of jar.

4. After connectors have been removed, steam and open the battery, as
described on pages 332 to 335.

5. Examine plates, and handle them as described on pages 335 to 355.
Remember, however, that Eveready plates which show the presence of
large amounts of sulphate, even to the extent of being entirely
covered with white sulphate, should not be discarded. A battery with
such plates should be charged at the normal rate, and given a 50
percent overcharge.

6. Before re-assembling plate groups preparatory to assembling the
battery, take negative and positive plate groups and build up the
posts with the aid of a post builder to their original height.

Assemble groups in usual manner, taking care that posts on straps are
in proper position relative to group in adjoining cell, so that cell
connectors will span properly. Eveready batteries use a right and left
hand strap for both positive and negatives, making it necessary to use
only one length of cell connector.

7. After inserting assembled plate groups into battery in their proper
relation as to polarity, heat rubber covers to make them fairly
pliable and fit them over posts and into top of jar, pressing them
down until they rest firmly on top of plate straps. See that covers
are perfectly level and that vent tubes are perpendicular and all at
same height above the plates.

8. Heat compound just hot enough so that it will flow. Pour first
layer about one quarter inch thick, being careful to cover entire jar
cover. Take a soft flame and seal compound around edges of jar and
onto posts.

9. Now proceed to burn on top connectors. Cell connectors need only be
cleaned in hole left by post, and top of each end.

10. While burning in cell connectors the first layer of compound will
have cooled sufficiently to permit the second layer to be applied.
This should be done immediately after burning on connectors and while
they are still hot. Also heat the terminal posts, as compound will
adhere to hot lead more readily than to cold.

Start second layer of compound by pouring it over cell connectors and
terminal posts, first filling in with sufficient compound to bring
level just above the tops of jars. Apply flame, sealing around edges
of wood case, being particularly careful to properly seal terminal
posts. Let this layer cool thoroughly before applying third layer.

11. The third layer of compound should be applied in the same way as
second layer, pouring on connectors and terminal posts first, and
filling in to the level of top of wood ease. The spaces between bars
of cell connectors will fill and flow over properly if second layer
has been allowed to cool and if cell connectors have not been burned
up too high. In sealing last layer with flame, care should be taken
not to play flame on compound too long as this hardens and burns the
compound. Burned compound has no flexibility and will crack readily in
service, thus causing the battery to become a "slopper." In pouring
compound be sure to have battery setting level so that compound will
come up even on all edges of case. Do not move battery after pouring
last layer until thoroughly cool.

Before installing battery on car be sure that no compound, etc., has
been allowed to get onto taper of terminal post, as this will make a
poor connection. If this has happened, clean with medium grade


  [Fig. 263 Vesta grid with 3-piece isolator]

Vesta Isolators. The Vesta plate embodies in its design devices which
are intended to hold the plates straight and thus eliminate the
buckling and short-circuiting which form a large percentage of battery
trouble. Fig. 263 shows clearly the construction of the old type of
plate. Each isolator used in the old type of plate consists of two
notched strips of celluloid, with a plain celluloid strip between
them. The notches are as wide as the plates are thick, the teeth
between the notches fitting into the spaces between plates, thus
holding the plates at the correct distances apart. The plain celluloid
strip holds the notched strips in place. At each corner of the Vesta
plate is a slot into which the isolator fits, as shown in Fig. 263.
Since the teeth on the two notched pieces of each isolator hold the
plates apart, they cannot "cut-out" or "short-out" by pinching
through the wooden separators, or "impregnated mats" as they are
called by the Vesta Company.

The celluloid of which the isolators are made are not attacked by the
electrolyte at ordinary temperatures. At higher temperatures, however,
the electrolyte slowly dissolves the isolators. The condition of the
isolator, therefore, may be used to determine whether the temperature
of the electrolyte has been allowed to rise above 100° Fahrenheit.

The Vesta Type "D" Battery

The appearance of a group of the new Type "D" construction is shown in
Fig. 265, where Type "C" and Type "D" groups are illustrated side by
side for purposes of comparison. It will be seen that the "D" isolator
is of one piece only (shown separately in Fig. 266). The material is a
heavy hard rubber stock which will be no more affected by acid or by
electrical conditions in the cell than the hard rubber battery jar
itself. The indentations on the two edges of isolator engage in hook
shaped lugs on plate edges (Fig. 267 shows these clearly) and lock the
plates apart fully as efficiently as the three-piece construction.

  [Fig. 264 Cross section, Vesta Isolator Battery, type C]

There are a number of important advantages which have been gained by
the new method of isolation. The illustration (Fig. 265) shows how the
"D" isolator permits the separators to completely cover and project
slightly beyond the edges of the plates, whereas in the old
construction there is an edge just above the isolators where the
plates are not covered. This improvement means protection against
shorts due to flaking, always so likely to occur during the summer
"overcharging" season. Overcharging is, of course, a form of abuse,
and Type "D" batteries are designed to meet this sort of service.
Another great advantage gained is in the arrangement of lugs, It will
be noted that the positive isolator hooks are in alignment, as are the
negative hooks, but that these two rows, of opposite polarity, are
separated from each other by the full width of the isolator; whereas
in the Type "C" construction the outer edges of the plates, of
opposite polarity, were separated only by the usual distance between

  [Fig. 265 Vesta elements: showing old 3-piece celluloid isolator and
   new one-piece hard rubber isolator]

  [Fig. 267 Vesta plates type U and DJ]

  [Fig.268 Inserting Vesta hard rubber isolator]

The new isolator is simple to insert and remove. Being made of hard
rubber, it will soften and become pliable if a sufficient degree of
heat is applied. The heat required is approximately 150° to 160°F., a
temperature far above that reached by any battery cell, even under the
most extravagant condition of abuse, but readily attained in the shop
by means of a small flame of any kind-even a match will do in an
emergency. The flame (which should be of the yellow or luminous
variety, as the blue flame tends to scorch the rubber) is played
lightly over the isolator a few seconds. The rubber becomes soft and
is then removed by inserting under the end of the isolator any narrow
tool, such as a small screw driver, a wedge point, chisel, etc., and
prying gently. In replacing isolators, a small hot plate is convenient
but not at all necessary. The isolators are placed on the hot plate,
or held in a luminous flame, until soft enough to bend. They are then
bent into an arched shape, as shown in Fig. 268, and quickly fitted
into place under the proper lugs. The regular isolator spacing tool is
convenient and helpful in maintaining the plates at uniform intervals
while this operation is carried out. The job is completed by pressing
down the still warm isolator with any handy piece of metal having a
flat edge that will fit the distance between the lugs (Fig. 269). The
shank of a screw driver does splendidly for this work. The pressure
causes the isolator to straighten out, and the indentations fit snugly
under the respective hooks on the plates. At the same time the contact
with the cold metal chills the rubber to its normal hard condition. It
is especially to be noted that the entire operation of isolator
removal and replacement can be carried out with none but the commonest
of shop tools.

  [Fig. 269 Pressing down Vesta hard rubber isolator]

  [Fig. 270 Complete vesta battery]

All of the "U" size batteries have been changed to Type "D," so that
all "CU" types are superseded by corresponding "DU's." Type "D" will
not be used on cells of sizes "L," "H," or "A", all of which remain of
the "C" or three-piece isolator construction. Type "S" remains old
style as before.

Type "DJ"

The Vesta Company has added a new plate size, produced in the "D"
style (one-piece) isolator only, and known as "DJ."

This plate is one-half inch higher than the "U," as shown in Fig. 267.
It has 10 per cent more capacity. "DJ" batteries are available in all
forms corresponding with "CU" types, and can be obtained by merely
changing the type form name in ordering, as for example, to replace
form 150, 6-DJ11-Y-150. The overall height of the completed battery
is, of course, one-half inch more, and the "DJ" should therefore be
ordered only when this additional height space is available in the
battery compartment of the car.

Vesta Separators

The Vesta separators, or "mats," are treated by a special process. The
Vesta Company considers its "mats" a very important feature of the
battery. See page 15.

Vesta Post Seal

A lead collar fits over each post to hold the cover tight against the
soft rubber gasket underneath. This collar is not screwed or burned on
the post, but is simply pressed down over the post, depending for its
holding power upon the fact that two lead surfaces rubbing against
each other tend to "freeze," and unite so as to become a unit. The
connector rests upon the upper race of the collar, and also helps to
hold it down in its proper position. Fig. 270 shows the complete
battery with the lead collar, and the large vent plug.

In rebuilding Vesta batteries having the lead collars, the cover
should be left in place when working on the plates, if possible. If,
however, it is necessary to separate groups, and the lead collars must
be removed, this is done as shown in Fig. 271. A few blows on the side
of the collar with a light, two ounce hammer expands the lead collar
several thousands of an inch so that the collar may be removed.

  [Fig. 271 Expanding lead collar of Vesta battery with light

  [Fig. 272 Placing soft rubber gasket over post of Vesta battery]

In replacing the covers, the lead collar must be forced down over the
post, and special pressure tongs are required for this purpose. Before
driving on the old collar, the post should be expanded slightly by
driving the point of a center-punch into the shoulder on the post.
Instead of expanding the shoulder a new collar may be used.

Fig. 272 shows the soft rubber gasket being placed over the post, and
shows the construction of the cover with its recess to fit the gasket.

Fig. 273 shows the lead collar being placed over the post after the
cover is in place.

Fig. 274 shows the special long lipped tongs required to force the
collar down on the post shoulder. One lip of the tongs has a hole into
which the post fits. The necessary driving force may be obtained by
applying pressure to the ends of the lips of the tongs With an
ordinary vise. This forces the cover down on the rubber gasket to make
the acid-tight seal.

  [Fig. 273 Placing lead collar over post of Vesta battery]

  [Fig. 274 Pressing lead collar over post of Vesta battery]


Westinghouse batteries have a special seal between covers and posts,
as shown in Fig. 275. A lead foundation washer (J) is set around the
post. A "U" shaped rubber gasket, (K) is then forced between the cover
and post, with the open end up. The lips of this gasket are tapered,
with the narrow edge up. A tapered lead sleeve (L) is then forced
between the lips of gasket (K), thereby pressing the inner lip against
the post and the outer lip against the cover.

  [Fig. 275 Westinghouse battery, partly dis-assembled]

The lead sleeve is held in place by broaching or indenting the collar
on taper lead sleeve into the posts.

To break the seal, a hollow reamer or facing tool, fitted into a drill
press or breast drill, is slipped over the post. A few turns will
remove that part of the sleeve which has been forced into the post.
Remove sealing compound around cover, remove group from cell. The
cover can then be lifted off and if any difficulty is experienced, it
can easily be removed by prying up cover with screwdriver. After
removing the cover, the tapered lead sleeve and "U" shaped gasket can
be removed. If these instructions are followed, the "U" shaped gasket
and taper lead sleeves can be used when battery is reassembled.

With the addition of the foregoing instructions on the post seal, the
standard directions for rebuilding batteries given on pages 328 to 374
apply to Westinghouse batteries.

Westinghouse Plates

In any given size, the Westinghouse battery has two more plates per
cell than the usual 1/8 inch plate battery. It has the same number of
plates as the 3/32 inch thin plate battery, but the thickness of the
plates is about half-way between the 1/8 inch and 3/32 inch plates.

The Westinghouse negative grids, Fig. 276, have very few and small
bars, just enough to hold the active material. It is slightly thinner
than the positive but has the same amount of active material, due to
the design of the grids. The condition of Westinghouse negatives
should not be determined by cadmium readings as these plates may be
fully charged and yet not give reversed cadmium readings.

  [Fig. 276 Westinghouse positive and negative plates]

Aside from the special instructions given for the Westinghouse Post
Seal, the Standard Instructions for Rebuilding Batteries, given on
pages 328 to 374 may be used in rebuilding Westinghouse batteries.


Type "A" Batteries

The type "A" series was designed to fit the battery compartment in
certain rather old models of cars. Owing to a lack of space this
series is not of as efficient design as the "C" and "B" series. It
does have the Westinghouse Post Seal, however.

Type "A" batteries are not recommended for use when "B" or "C"
batteries can be used.

                 Hours          Ampere      Ampere    Length     Weight
                 at Usual       Rate for    Rate for  in Inches  in
Type   Part No.  Lighting Rate  20 Minutes  5 Hours   L.         Pounds
----   --------  -------------  ----------  --------  ---------  ------

6-A-11 100071    64             68          9.1       8          38
6-A-13 100072    79             82          11.0      9-1/8      42
6-A-15 100073    94             96          12.8      10-1/4     46
6-A-17 100074    109            109         14.6      11-9/16    52
6-A-21 100075    139            136         18.2      14-3/16    63
6-A-25 100076    169            164         22.0      17         75
12-A-7 100077    34             41          5.5       10-7/16    48
12-A-11 100078   64             68          9.1       14-15/16   70
12-A-17 100079   109            109         14.6      22-1/16    102


Width   Height   Thickness
-----   ------   ---------
5-5/8   4-1/8    .098

Type "B" Batteries

The type "B" series of batteries has been designed for use on a number
of cars now in service that do not have a sufficient headroom in the
battery compartment for type "C."

Type "B" batteries carry all of the features of the type "C." Due to
the fact that the plates of necessity must be somewhat shorter than in
the type "C" batteries their efficiency from the point of ampere hours
per pound of weight is slightly less than the type "C" series.

                 Hours          Ampere      Ampere    Length     Weight
                 at Usual       Rate for    Rate for  in Inches  in
Type   Part No.  Lighting Rate  20 Minutes  5 Hours   L.         Pounds
----   --------  -------------  ----------  --------  ---------  ------
6-B-7   100031    41             44          6.6       5-3/4      30
6-B-9   100032    59             66          8.8       6.7/8      36
6-B-11  100033    77             82          11.0      8          41
6-B-13  100034    95             99          13.2      9-1/2      47
6-B-15  100035    114            115         15.4      10-1/4     52
6-B-17  100036    132            131         17.6      11-9/16    57
6-B-19  100037    150            148         19.8      12-7/8     60
6-B-21  100038    168            164         22.0      14-3/16    68
6-B-23  100039    186            181         24.2      15-1/2     75
6-B-25  100040    205            197         26.4      17         82
12-B-7  100041    41             49          6.6       10-7/16    54
12-B-9  100042    59             66          8.8       12-11/16   66
12-B-11 100043    77             82          11.0      14-15/16   78
12-B-13 100044    95             99          13.2      17-3/16    91
12-B-15 100045    114            115         15.4      19-7/16    102
12-B-17 100046    132            131         17.6      22-1/16    113


Width   Height   Thickness
-----   ------   ---------
5-5/8   4-3/4    0.1

Type "C" Batteries

The type "C" series of batteries is the Westinghouse standard. The
outside dimensions and capacity are such that some one of this design
may be used in a majority of cars now in service. The Westinghouse
design was built around this type and it should be used for
replacement or new equipment.

Type "C" batteries are provided with the Westinghouse Post Seal
wherever possible.

                 Hours          Ampere      Ampere    Length     Weight
                 at Usual       Rate for    Rate for  in Inches  in
Type   Part No.  Lighting Rate  20 Minutes  5 Hours   L.         Pounds
----   --------  -------------  ----------  --------  ---------  ------
6-C-7   100001    45             54          7.3       5-7/8      34
6-C-9   100002    65             73          9.7       7          39
6-C-11  100003    85             91          12.1      8-1/8      44
6-C-13  100004    105            109         14.6      9-1/4      50
6-C-15  100005    125            127         17.0      10-3/8     56
6-C-17  100006    145            145         19.4      11-11/16   63
6-C-19  100007    165            163         21.8      13         70
6-C-21  100008    185            181         24.3      14-5/16    77
6-C-23  100009    205            199         26.7      15-5/8     85
6-C-25  100010    225            218         29.2      17-1/8     93
12-C-7  100011    45             54          7.3       10-9/16    59
12-C-19 100012    65             73          9.7       12-13/16   72
12-C-11 100013    85             91          12.1      15-1/16    84
12-C-13 100014    105            109         14.6      17-5/16    96
12-C-15 100015    125            127         17.0      19-8/16    110


Width   Height   Thickness
-----   ------   ---------
5-5/8   4-1/4    0.1 inch

Type "E" Batteries

The type "E" series was designed for replacement work on a few old
model cars now in service where a narrow, high battery was necessary.
The design is not as efficient as the "B" and "C" lines, due to a lack
of space and further, it has been necessary to omit the Westinghouse
Post Seal for the same reason.

                 Hours          Ampere      Ampere    Length     Weight
                 at Usual       Rate for    Rate for  in Inches  in
Type   Part No.  Lighting Rate  20 Minutes  5 Hours   L.         Pounds
----   --------  -------------  ----------  --------  ---------  ------
6-E-13  100058    79             82          11.0      9-1/8      40
6-E-15  100062    94             96          12.8      10-1/4     44
6-E-17  100065    109            109         14.6      11-9/16    50
6-E-21  100067    139            136         18.2      14-3/16    62
12-E-11 100088    64             68          9.1       14-15/16   70
12-E-13 100060    79             82          11.0      17-3/16    79
12-E-15 100069    94             96          12.8      19-7/16    90
18-E-9  100070    49             54           7.3      15-5/16    75


Width   Height   Thickness
-----   ------   ---------
4-1/8   5-5/8    .098

Type "H" Batteries

The type "H" battery is built with heavier plates than the type "C"
and "B" batteries for use in cars where the necessary increased space
is available and where the weight per ampere output is not a
consideration. Under the same use the battery will give a greater life
than the type "C" or "B" battery having the same positive area.

This battery has a greater space between the plates than the "C" or
"B" battery and will therefore have less internal discharge when
standing on open circuit, and is more desirable for miscellaneous use
where open circuit discharge is of consideration.

                 Hours          Ampere      Ampere    Length     Weight
                 at Usual       Rate for    Rate for  in Inches  in
Type   Part No.  Lighting Rate  20 Minutes  5 Hours   L.         Pounds
----   --------  -------------  ----------  --------  ---------  ------
6-H-17 100089     61             74          9.9       7-3/4      35
6-H-9  100090     88             89          13.2      9-1/4      43
6-H-11 100091     115            124         16.5      11-1/2     55
6-H-13 100092     143            149         19.8      12-5/8     36
6-H-15 100093     170            173         23.2      14-5/16    70
6-H-17 100094     197            109         26.5      16         79


Width   Height   Thickness
-----   ------   ---------
5-5/8   5        .19

Type "J" Batteries

The type "J" battery is an extremely heavy construction battery with
thick plates, and it was designed primarily for use on trucks and
other vehicles of this type where there is excessive vibration and
other possibility of mechanical abuse. This battery will give a
greater life than either the "H", "C" or "B" battery with the same
plate area. It is provided with wood separators and rubber sheets.

This battery has a greater space between the plates than the "C" or
"B" battery and will therefore have less internal discharge when
standing on open circuit, and is more desirable for miscellaneous use
where open circuit discharge is of consideration.

                 Hours          Ampere      Ampere    Length     Weight
                 at Usual       Rate for    Rate for  in Inches  in
Type   Part No.  Lighting Rate  20 Minutes  5 Hours   L.         Pounds
----   --------  -------------  ----------  --------  ---------  ------
6-J-5  100095     38             55          7.35      6-7/16     38
6-J-7  100096     68             82          11.0      8-1/8      40
6-J-9  100097     98             110         14.7      10-3/8     50
6-J-11 100098     128            137         18.4      11-7/8     60
6-J-13 100099     159            165         22.1      13-3/4     69
6-J-15 100100     189            192         25.7      15-5/8     84
6-J-17 100101     220            220         29.4      17-1/2     96


Width   Height   Thickness
-----   ------   ---------
5-5/8   5        .19

Type "0" Batteries

The "0" type battery sacrifices some capacity in obtaining a rugged
strength. It is a special battery made only with nineteen plates per
cell where the percentage of sacrificed capacity is not great as
compared with the twenty-one plate "C" type. It fills the same space
as does a 6-C-21. It has greater life and strength. It has less
capacity but it is built for conditions requiring less capacity than a
twenty-one plate cell.

                 Hours          Ampere      Ampere    Length     Weight
                 at Usual       Rate for    Rate for  in Inches  in
Type   Part No.  Lighting Rate  20 Minutes  5 Hours   L.         Pounds
----   --------  -------------  ----------  --------  ---------  ------
6-O-19  100143    185            185         24.5      13-11/16   68


Width   Height   Thickness
-----   ------   ---------
5-5/8   5-1/4    .123

Type "F" Batteries

There is only one type "F" battery. It is of big heavy construction
exactly the same dimensions as the battery used for a number of years
on the Cadillac and certain other cars. This battery is heavier than
type "C" of the same capacity and it has a greater life.

                 Hours          Ampere      Ampere    Length     Weight
                 at Usual       Rate for    Rate for  in Inches  in
Type   Part No.  Lighting Rate  20 Minutes  5 Hours   L.         Pounds
----   --------  -------------  ----------  --------  ---------  ------
6-F-13 100086     150            160         21.2      17-11/16   79


Width   Height   Thickness
-----   ------   ---------
4-3/4   5-1/4    .17


Since 1912, when the Willard Storage Battery Co. began to manufacture
storage batteries for starting and lighting work, various types of
Willard batteries have been developed. The original Willard starting
and lighting batteries used two-piece, or "double" covers. These are
shown in the cuts used to illustrate the sealing of double-cover
covers in the preceding chapter, and no further description will be
given here. The doublecover batteries are no longer made, but the
repairman will probably be called upon to repair some of them. The
instructions given in the preceding chapter should be used in making
such repairs.

Following the double cover batteries came the single cover battery, of
which a number of types have been made. One type used a rectangular
post, and was very difficult to repair. Fortunately, this type was not
used extensively, and the battery is obsolete.

Willard Batteries With Compound Sealed Posts

The oldest type single-cover Willard battery which the repairman will
be called upon to handle is the compound sealed post type, illustrated
in-Fig. 277. This battery includes types SEW, SER, SJW, SL, SLR, SM,
SMR, STR, SXW, SXR, SP, SK, SQ, EM, and EMR. As shown in Fig. 277,
there is a well around each post which is filled with: sealing
compound. On the under side of the cover is a corresponding well which
fits into the post well, the sealing compound serving to make the seal
between the cover and the post.

  [Fig. 277 Willard Battery cross section]

Aside from this post seal, no special instructions are required in
rebuilding this type of Willard battery. A 3/4 inch drill is needed
for drilling off the connectors. When the plates have been lifted out
of the jars, and are resting on the jar to drain, and while the
compound and cover are still hot, remove the cover by placing your
fingers under it and pressing down on the posts with your thumbs.

With a narrow screw driver or a knife, clean out all of the old
compound from the wells around the posts, and also remove the compound
from the under side of the cover which fits into the post wells.

In reassembling the battery first try on the covers to see that they
will fit in the post wells. Then remove the covers again and heat them
with a soft flame. Then heat the post wells perfectly dry with a soft
flame. Pour the post wells nearly full of compound, and quickly press
the cover into position.

Willard Batteries With Lead Inserts In Covers

The types SJWN and SJRN Willard batteries have lead inserts in the
cover post holes, as shown in Mg. 278, the inserts being welded to the
posts. For removing the connectors and for separating the post from
the cover insert, the Willard Company furnishes special jigs and
forms. The work may also be done without these jigs and forms, as will
be described later.

When the special jigs and forms are used, the work is done, as follows:

1. Place Willard drill jig Z-72 (Fig. 279) over the connector, and
with a 13/16 inch drill, bore down far enough to release the connector
from the post (Fig. 279).

  [Fig. 278 lead insert used on Willard Batteries; Fig. 279
   Willard  Drill Jig Z-72; Fig. 279 Willard Drill Jig Z-72 and
   how it is used]

2. File off the post stub left by drilling. This will give a flat
surface on top of the cover insert and will make it easier to center
the drill for the next operation.

3. With a 57/64 inch drill, and Willard jig Z-94 (Fig. 280), drill
down to release the post from the cover insert.

  [Fig. 280 Willard Jig Z-94; Fig. 281 Willard Post-Builder Z-93]

4. In reassembling, build the post up to a height of 1-5/16 inches
above the top of the plate strap, using Willard post builder Z-93
(Fig. 281).

5. After removing the post builder, bevel the top edge of the post
with a file, as indicated at "A" (Fig. 281). Then replace plates in
the jars.

6. File off tops of cover inserts at "A" (Fig. 282), to a height of
3/16 inch above the cover. Also remove any roughness on surface "B"
caused by pliers when cover was removed.

  [Fig. 282 Willard Battery cross section of cover insert;
   Fig. 283 Willard burning form Z-87 and how it is used]

7. Put on the covers so that their tops will be 1/32 inch above the
top edge of the jars, tapping them lightly with a small hammer.

8. Place Willard burning form Z-87 (Fig. 283) over the post and cover
insert and burn the post to the insert.

9. Remove form Z-87 and thoroughly brush off the top of the post stub.
Then build up the stub post, using Willard burning form Z-88 on the
positive posts and form Z-89 on the negative posts (Fig. 284).

  [Fig. 284 Willard burning forms Z-88 and Z-89]

10. Now seal the covers with sealing compound as usual, and burn on
the connectors.

11. If the terminal posts are made for clamp terminals, build up the
posts by using Willard burning form Z-90, for the positive posts and
Z-91 for the negative posts (Fig. 285).

  [Fig. 285 Willard burning forms Z-90 and Z-91]

To work on the post seals of Willard types SJWN and SJRN without the
special Willard jigs and forms:

1. Remove the connectors and terminals as usual.

2. Saw off the posts close to the covers, taking care not to injure
the covers; This will separate the posts from the cover inserts, and
the covers may be removed.

3. In reassembling, Ale off the top of the cover insert at "A" (Fig.

4. Put covers on so that their tops will be 1/32 inch above the top
edge of the jars, tapping the covers lightly with a small hammer.

5. Brush the top of post and cover insert perfectly clean. Now make a
burning form consisting of a ring 1-1/8 inside diameter and 1-5/8 inch
outside diameter and 3/16 to 1/4 inch high. Set this over the stub
post and cover. With a hot lead burning flame melt the top of the post
and cover insert together. Then melt in lead up to the top of the
special burning form (Fig. 286). Then remove the form.

  [Fig. 286 Cross section Willard Battery Posts Types SJWN and SJRN]

6. Set post builders on the part of the posts which has been built up
and build up the posts as usual, Fig. 286. Then burn on the connectors
and terminals.

Willard Gasket Type Batteries

Fig. 287 shows this type of construction, used on types SJRG and SLWG.

Fig. 288 shows the seal in detail. A soft rubber gasket is slipped
over the post, and the cover is pushed down over the gasket. For
removing the covers, have a cover removal frame made as shown in Fig.

289. Fasten the frame to a solid wall or bench so that it will
withstand a strong pull. In rebuilding this type of battery proceed as

  [Fig. 287 Willard Gasket Seal Battery cross section]

1. Drill off the connectors and terminals, leaving the post stubs, as
high as possible, since the only way of removing the plates is by
grasping the post stubs with pliers.

  [Fig. 288 Details of Willard Gasket Seal]

2. Steam the battery to soften the sealing compound and lift out the
plates as usual.

3. To remove covers. Saw the post stubs off flush with the covers.
Place the element in the cover removal frame (Fig. 289) and pull
steadily on the element. A little swaying motion from side to side may
help in loosening the covers. If any of the gaskets remain on the
posts when the covers are removed, replace them in the cover and
thoroughly dry the inside with a rag.

  [Fig. 289 Cover removal frame for Willard Gasket Seal Battery]

4. To replace covers. With a rag or tissue paper wipe off the posts
and then dry them thoroughly with a soft flame.

With a 3/4 inch bristle bottle brush apply a thin coating of rubber
cement to the inside surfaces of the gaskets. Do this to one cover at
a time and apply the cover quickly before the cement dries. The cement
acts as a lubricant, and without it, it will be impossible to replace
the covers.

Willard Separators

Fig. 290 shows the Willard Threaded Rubber Separator which is made of
a rubber sheet pierced by thousands of threads which are designed to
make the separator porous. This separator is not injured by allowing
it to become dry, and makes it possible for the Willard Company to
ship its batteries fully assembled without electrolyte or moisture,
the parts being "bone-dry."

  [Fig. 290 Willard threaded rubber separator]


Types. The Universal Battery Co. manufactures batteries for (a)
Starting and Lighting, (b) Lighting, (c) Ignition, (d) Radio, (e)
Electric Cars and Trucks, (f) Isolated, or Farm Lighting Plants, and
(g) General Stationary Work.

Construction Features. The Universal Starting and Lighting Batteries
embody no special or unique constructions. The boxes are made of hard
maple, lock cornered and glued. The jars have single rubber covers.
The separators are made of Port Orford white cedar wood, this wood
being the same as that used in some of the other standard makes of
batteries. The space between the covers and connectors is sufficient
to permit lifting the battery by grasping the connectors.

  [Fig. 291 Universal Battery Cover cross section]

Fig. 291 shows the Universal Co. Post Seal construction. A soft rubber
washer (A) is first slipped over the post. The cover (B) is then put
in place, and rests on the washer (A) as shown. A second washer (C) is
then slipped over the post, resting on the upper surface of the
shoulder of the cover. The lead sleeve washer (D) is then forced down
over the post, pressing washer (C) down on the cover, and pressing the
cover down on washer (A). The two rubber washers serve to make a leak
proof joint between post and cover. The lead sleeve-washer (D)
"freezes" to the post, and holds cover and washers in position.

In rebuilding Universal batteries the cover need not be removed unless
it is desired to replace plate groups. To remove the cover, after the
cell connectors have been drilled off, drill down through the
post-stub until the drill has penetrated to the shoulder (E). This
releases the seal and the cover may be lifted off. To save time, the
post-stub may be cut off flush with the top of the cover with a hack
saw after the cell connectors have been drilled off. The drill is then
used as before to release the grip of the washer. Using a drill to
release the grip of the washer makes it necessary to build up the
posts when the battery is reassembled. Instead of using an ordinary
twist drill, a special hollow drill may be obtained from the Universal
Battery Co. This drill cuts away the lead sleeve gasket without
injuring the post. If an ordinary drill is used, a 3/4 inch drill is
required for the seven plate battery and a 13/16 inch drill for all
other sizes.


The standard practice in battery assembly has always been to place the
plates of each cell in a separate, hard rubber jar, the jars being set
in a wooden box or case. Each six-volt battery thus has four
containers. When a wooden case is used, jars made of rubber, or some
other nonporous, acid-resisting material are necessary.

  [Fig. 292 One-piece battery container]

Wooden cases have been fairly well standardized as to the kinds of
wood used, dimensions, constructional features, and to a certain
extent, the handles. The disadvantage of both the wooden case and the
iron handles is that they are not acid proof. Acid-proof paint
protects them from the action of the acid to a certain extent, but
paint is easily scraped off, exposing the wood and iron to the action
of the acid. It is practically impossible to prevent acid from
reaching the case and handles, and corroded handles and rotted cases
are quite common.

A recent development is a one-piece container which takes the place of
the jars and wooden case. Such a container is made of hard rubber or a
composition of impregnated fibre which uses a small amount of rubber
as a binder. These cases are, of course, entirely acid proof, and
eliminate the possibility of having acid soaked and acid rotted cases.
Painting of cases is also eliminated. The handles are often integral
parts of the case, as shown in Fig. 292, being made of the same
material as the case.

The repairman should not overlook the possibilities of the one-piece
containers. In making up rental batteries, or in replacing old cases,
the one-piece containers may be used to advantage. These containers
are suitable for Radio batteries, since they have a neater appearance
than the wooden cases, and are not as likely to damage floors or
furnishings because the acid cannot seep through them.


The Titan Battery is built along standard lines, as far as cases,
plates, separators, and jars are concerned. The ribs of the grids not
arranged at right angles but are arranged as shown in Fig. 293. Each
pellet of active material is supported by a diagonal rib on the
opposite face of the grid.

  [Fig. 293a Titan Battery grid]
  [Fig. 293b Titan Post Seal construction]

The Titan Post Seal is shown in Fig. 293. A soft rubber gasket (G) is
slipped over the post, and rests on a shoulder (F) on the post. The
cover has a channel which fits over the gasket and prevents the gasket
from being squeezed out of place when the cover is forced down on the
gasket. The post has two projections (DD), as shown, the lower surface
of each of which is inclined at an angle to the horizontal. A lock nut
(H), which has corresponding projections (IJ) is slipped over the post
as shown at (0), and is given a quarter turn. The top surfaces of the
projections on the lock-nut are inclined and as the locknut is turned,
the projections on the post and nut engage, and the cover is forced
down on the gasket (G). To lock the nut in place, a lock washer (L) is
then slipped over the post, the projections (MM) fitting into spaces
(KK) between the projections on the post and nut, thus preventing the
nut from turning. A special wrench is furnished for turning the
lock-nut. The cell connectors rest on the tops of the lock washers and
keep them in place.

The overhauling of Titan batteries should be done as described on
pages 328 to 374.





Although the large Central Station Companies are continually extending
their power lines, and are enlarging the territory served by them, yet
there are many places where such service is not available. To meet the
demand for electrical power in these places, small but complete
generating plants have been produced by a number of manufacturers.
These plants consist of an electrical generator, an engine, to drive
the generator, and a storage battery to supply power when the
generator is not running. The complete plants are called "House
Lighting," "Farm Lighting," or "Isolated" plants.

The batteries used in these plants differ considerably from the
starting batteries used on automobiles. The starting battery is called
upon to deliver very heavy currents for short intervals. On the car
the battery is always being charged when the car is running at a
moderate speed or over. The battery must fit in the limited space
provided for it on the car, and must not lose any electrolyte as the
car jolts along over the road. It is subjected to both high and low
temperatures; and is generally on a car whose owner often does not
know that his car has such a thing as a battery until his starting
motor some day fails to turn over the engine. All starting batteries
have wooden cases (some now use rubber cases), hard rubber jars, and
sealed on covers. The case contains all the cells of the battery.
Automobile batteries have, therefore, become highly standardized, and
to the uninformed, one make looks just like any other.

Farm lighting batteries, on the other hand, are not limited as to
space they occupy, are not subjected to irregular charging and
discharging, do not need leak proof covers, and are not called upon to
delivery very heavy currents for short periods. These facts are taken
advantage of by the manufacturers, who have designed their farm
lighting batteries to give a much longer life than is possible in the
automobile battery. As a result the farm lighting battery differs from
the automobile battery in a number of respects.

Jars. Both glass and rubber are used for farm lighting battery jars,
and they may or may not have sealed-in covers. Fig. 294 shows a glass
jar of an Exide battery having a hard rubber cover, and Fig. 295 shows
a Prest-O-Lite glass jar cell having a cover made of lead and
antimony. Unsealed glass jars, such as the Exide type shown in Fig.
324, generally have a plate of glass placed across the top to catch
acid spray when the cell is gassing. Each jar with its plates and
electrolyte forms a complete and separate unit which may easily be
disconnected from the other cells of the battery by removing the bolts
which join them. In working on a farm lighting battery, the repairman,
therefore, works with individual cells instead of the battery as a
whole, as is done with automobile batteries.

  [Fig. 294 Exide "Delco Light" farming lighting cell with
   hard rubber cover]

Batteries with sealed jars are generally shipped completely assembled
and filled with electrolyte, and need only a freshening charge before
being put into service, just as automobile batteries which are shipped
"wet" are in a fully charged condition when they leave the factory and
need only a charge before being installed on the car.

  [Fig. 295 Prest-O-Lite farm lighting cell with lead-antimony

Jars that are not sealed are set in separate glass trays filled with
sand, or sometimes the entire battery is set in a shallow wooden box
or tray filled with sand. This is necessary because the absence of a
sealed cover allows acid spray to run down the outside of the jar and
this acid would, of course, attack the wooden shelf and make a dirty,
sloppy battery. Batteries using jars without sealed covers cannot be
shipped assembled and charged, and hence they require a considerable
amount of work and along initial charge to put them in a serviceable

  [Fig. 296 Exide farm lighting cell with sealed glass jar]

Farm lighting battery jars are less liable to become cracked than
those of automobile batteries because they are set in one place and
remain there, and are not jolted about as automobile batteries are.
Cracked jars in farm lighting batteries are more easily detected as
the jar will be wet on the outside and the acid will wet the shelf or
sand tray on which the jar rests.

Batteries with sealed rubber jars are normally assembled four cells in
a case or tray, with a nameplate on each tray which gives the type and
size of cell. The cells are connected together with lead links which
are bolted to the cell posts by means of lead covered bolt connectors.

  [Fig. 297 Combination wood and rubber separator used in
   Delco-Light and Exide Farm light cell]

Plates. Since farm lighting batteries are not required to deliver very
heavy currents at any time, the plates are made thicker than in
starting batteries, this giving a stronger plate which has a longer
life than the starting battery plate.

All makes of starting batteries use the Faure, or pasted plate. This
type of plate is also used in many farm lighting batteries, but the
Plante plate (see page 27) may also be used. The Exide "Chloride
Accumulator" cell, Fig. 323 uses a type of positive plate called the
"Manchester" positive as described on page 497.

Separators. Grooved wooden separators are used in some farm lighting
batteries, while others use rubber separators, or both rubber and
wooden separators. Some use wooden separators which are smooth on both
sides, but have dowels pinned to them.

Electrolyte. In a starting battery the specific gravity of the
electrolyte of a fully charged cell is 1.280-1.300, no matter what the
make of the battery may be. In farm lighting batteries, the different
types have different values of specific gravity when fully charged.
The usual values are as follows:

(a) Batteries with sealed glass jars 1.210 to 1.250

(b) Batteries with open glass jars 1.200 to 1.250

(c) Batteries with sealed rubber jars 1.260 to 1.280

A brief discussion of specific gravity might be helpful at this point.
In any lead acid battery current is produced by a chemical action
between the active material in the plates and the water and sulphuric
acid in the electrolyte. The amount of energy which can be delivered
by the battery depends on the amount of active material, sulphuric
acid, and water which enter into the chemical actions of the cell. As
these chemical actions take place, sulphuric acid is used up, and
hence there must be enough acid contained in the electrolyte to enter
into the chemical actions. The amount of water and acid in the
electrolyte may be varied, as long as there is enough of each present
to combine with the active material of the plates so as to enable the
cell to deliver its full capacity. Increasing the amount of acid will
result in the plates and separators being attacked and injured by the
acid. Increasing the amount of water dilutes the acid, giving a lower
gravity, and preventing the Acid from injuring plates and separators.
This results in a longer life for the battery, and is a desirable
condition. In starter batteries, there is not enough space in the jars
for the increased amount of water. In farm lighting batteries, where
the space occupied by the battery is not so important, the jars are
made large enough to hold a greater amount of water, thus giving an
electrolyte which has a lower specific gravity than in starting

Take a fully charged cell of any starting battery. It contains a set
of plates and the electrolyte which is composed of a certain necessary
amount of acid and a certain amount of water. If we put the plates of
this cell in a larger jar, add the same amount of acid as before, but
add a greater amount of water than was contained in the smaller jar,
we will still have a fully charged cell of the same capacity as
before, but the specific gravity of the electrolyte will be lower.

Charging Equipment. Automobile batteries are being charged whenever
the car is running at more than about 10 miles per hour, regardless of
what their condition may be.

In farm lighting outfits, the charging is under the control of the
operator, and the battery is charged when a charge is necessary. There
is, therefore, very much less danger of starving or overcharging the
battery. The operator must, however, watch his battery carefully, and
charge it as often as may be necessary, and not allow it to go without
its regular charge.

The generator of a farm lighting outfit is usually driven by an
internal combustion engine furnished with the outfit. The engine may
be connected to the generator by a belt, or its shaft may be connected
directly to the generator shaft. A switchboard carrying the necessary
instruments and switches also goes with the outfit. The charging of
farm lighting batteries is very much like the charging of automobile
batteries on the charging bench, except that the batteries are at all
times connected to switches, by means of which they may be put on the
charging line.

Some plants are so arranged that the battery and generator do not
provide current for the lights at the same time, lights being out
while the battery is charging. In others the generator and battery, in
emergency, may both provide current. In others the lights may burn
while the battery is being charged; in this case the battery is
sometimes provided with counter-electromotive force cells which permit
high enough voltage across the battery to charge it and yet limit the
voltage across the lamps to prevent burning them out or shortening
their life. In some cases the battery is divided into two sets which
are charged in parallel and discharged in series.

Relation of the Automobile Storage Battery Man to the Farm Lighting
Plant. Owners and prospective owners of farm lighting plants generally
know but little about the care or repair of electrical apparatus,
especially batteries, which are not as easily understood as lamps,
motors or generators. Prospective owners may quite likely call upon
the automobile battery repair man for advice as to the installation,
operation, maintenance, and repair of his battery and the automobile
battery repairman should have little trouble in learning how to take
care of farm lighting batteries. The details in which these batteries
differ from starting batteries should be studied and mastered, and a
new source of business will be opened.

Farm lighting plants in the vicinity should be studied and observed
while they are in good working order, the details of construction and
operation studied, the layout of the various circuits to lamps,
motors, heaters, etc., examined so as to become familiar with the
plants. Then When anything goes wrong with the battery, or even the
other parts of the plant, there will be no difficulty in putting
things back in running order.

Selection of Plant

"Farm Lighting Plant" is the name applied to the small electric plant
to be used where a central station supply is not available. Such a
plant, of course, may be used for driving motors and heating devices,
as well as operating electric lights, and the plant is really a "Farm
Lighting and Power Plant."

Make. There are several very good lighting plants on the market and
the selection of the make of the plant must be left to the discretion
of the owner, or whomever the owner may ask for advice. The selection
will depend on cost, whether the plant will fill the particular
requirements, what makes can be obtained nearby, on the delivery that
can be made, and the service policy of the manufacturer.

Type. Plants are made which come complete with battery, generator,
engine, and switchboard mounted on one base. All such a plant requires
is a suitable floor space for its installation. Other plants have all
parts separate, and require more work to install. With some plants,
the generator and engine may be mounted as a unit on one base, with
battery and switchboard separate.

The type of jar used in the battery may influence the choice. Jars are
made of glass or rubber. The glass jars have sealed covers, or have no
covers. The rubber jars generally have a sealed cover. The glass jar
has the advantage that the interior may be seen at all times, and the
height of the electrolyte and sediment may be seen and the condition
of the plates, etc., determined by a simple inspection. This is an
important feature and one that will be appreciated by the one who
takes care of the battery. Jars with sealed covers, or covers which
although not sealed, close up the top of the jar completely have the
advantage of keeping in acid spray, and keeping out dirt and
impurities. Open jars are generally set in trays of sand to catch
electrolyte which runs down the outside walls of the jars. The open
jars have the advantage that the plates are very easily removed, but
have the disadvantage that acid spray is not kept in effectually,
although a plate of glass is generally laid over part of the top of
the jar, and that dirt and dust may fall into the jar.

Size. The capacity of storage battery cells is rated in ampere hours,
while power consumed by lights, motors, etc., is measured in watt
hours, or kilowatt hours. However, the ampere hour capacity of a
battery can be changed to watt hours since watt hours is equal to

   Watt hours = ampere hours multiplied by the volts

If we have a 16 cell battery, each cell of which is an 80 ampere hour
cell, the ampere hour capacity of the entire battery will be 80, the
same as that of one of its cells, since the cells are all in series
and the same current passes through all cells. The watt hour capacity
of the battery will be 32 times 80, or 2560. The ampere hour capacity
is computed for the 8 hour rate, that is, the current is drawn from
the battery continuously for 8 hours, and at the end of that time the
battery is discharged. If the current is not drawn from the battery
continuously for 8 hours, but is used for shorter intervals
intermittently, the ampere hour capacity of the battery will be
somewhat greater. It seldom occurs that in any installation the
battery is used continuously for eight hours at a rate which will
discharge it in that time, and hence a greater capacity is obtained
from the battery. Some manufacturers do not rate their batteries at
the 8 hour continuous discharge rate but use the intermittent rate,
thus rating a battery 30 to 40 percent higher. Rated in this way, a
battery of 16 cells rated at 80 ampere hours at the 8 hour rate would
be rated at 112 ampere hours, or 3584 watt hours.

In determining the size of the battery required, estimate as nearly as
possible how many lamps, motors, and heaters, etc., will be used.
Compute the watts (volts X amperes), required by each. Estimate how
long each appliance will be used each day, and thus obtain the total
watt hours used per day. Multiply this by 7 to get the watt hours per
week. The total watt hours required in one week should not be equal to
more than twice the watt hour capacity of the battery (ampere hours
multiplied by the total battery voltage) at the eight hour rate. This
means that the battery should not require a charge oftener than two
times a week.

The capacity of a battery is often measured in the number of lamps it
will burn brightly for eight hours. The watts consumed by motors,
heaters, etc., may be expressed in a certain number of lamps. The
following table will be of assistance in determining the size of the
battery required:

                                      Watts      Equivalent Number
No.   Type of Appliance               Consumed   of 20 Watt Lamps
---   -----------------               --------   -----------------

1     16 candle power, Mazda lamp      20          1
2     12 candle power, Mazda lamp      115         3/4
3     Electric Fan, small size         75          4
4     Small Sewing machine motor       100         5
5     Vacuum cleaner                   160         8
6     Washing machine                  200         10
7     Churn, 1/6 h.p.                  200         10
8     Cream Separator, 1/6 h.p.        200         10
9     Water pump 1/6 h.p.              200         10
10    Electric water heater, small     350         18
11    Electric toaster                 525         26
12    Electric stove, small            600         30
13    Electric iron                    600         30
14    Pump, 1/2 h.p.                   600         30

From the foregoing table we can determine the current consumption of
the various appliances:

                  Amps at 32     Amps at 110
No.     Watts     Volts          Volts
---     -----     ----------     ------------
1       20        0.625          0.18
2       15        0.47           0.14
3       75        2.34           6.80
4       100       3.125          0.90
5       160       5.00           1.44
6       200       6.25           1.80
7       200       6.25           1.80
8       200       6.25           1.80
9       200       6.25           1.80
10      350       11.00          3.20
11      525       16.4           4.77
12      600       18.75          5.40
13      600       18.75          5.40
14      600       18.75          5.40

The following tables show how long the battery will carry various
currents continuously:

  [Images:  various charts/tables]

Location of Plant

The various appliances should be placed as near to each other as
possible. The lights, of course, must be placed so as to illuminate
the different rooms, barns, etc., but the power devices should be
placed as close as possible to each other and to the plant. The
purpose of this is to use as little wire as possible between the plant
and the various appliances so as to prevent excessive voltage drop in
the lines.


The wires leading to the various appliances should be large enough so
that not more than one or two volts are lost in the wires. To obtain
the resistance of the wire leading to any appliance, use the following

Knowing the resistance of the wire, and the total length of the two
wires leading from the plant to the appliance, the size of the wire
may be obtained from a wiring table.

Rubber insulated copper wire covered with a double braid should
preferably be used, and the duplex wire is often more convenient than
the single wire, especially in running from one building to another.
Wiring on the inside of buildings should be done neatly, running the
wires on porcelain insulators, and as directly to the appliance as
possible. The standard rules for interior wiring as to fuses,
soldering joints, etc., should be followed.


(See also special instructions for the different makes, beginning page

The room in which the plant is installed should be clean, dry, and
well ventilated. It should be one which is not very cold in winter, as
a cold battery is very sluggish and seems to lack capacity. If
possible, have the plant in a separate room in order to keep out dirt
and dust. If no separate room is available, it is a good plan to build
a small room in a corner of a large room. Keep the room clean and free
of miscellaneous tools and rubbish.

If the entire plant comes complete on one base, all that is necessary
is to bolt the base securely to the floor, which should be as nearly
level as possible. If the battery is to be installed separately, build
a rack. Give the rack several coats of asphaltum paint to make it acid
proof. The location of the battery rack should be such that the rack
will be:

(a) Free from vibration.

(b) At least 3 feet from the exhaust pipe of engine.

(c) Far enough away from the wall to prevent dirt or loose mortar from
dropping on the cells.

Figs. 298 and 299 illustrate two types of battery racks recommended
for use with farm light batteries. The stair-step rack is most
desirable where there is sufficient room for its installation. Where
the space is insufficient to make this installation, use the two-tier
shelf rack. The racks should be made from 1-1/2 or 2 inch boards.

  [Fig. 298 "Stair-Step" rack for farm lighting battery]

The cells may be placed on the battery rack with either the face or
the edges of the plates facing out. The latter method requires a
shorter battery rack and is very desirable from the standpoint of
future inspections. In very dark places, it is more desirable to have
the surface of the plates turned out to enable the user to see when
the cells are bubbling during the monthly equalizing charge. Either
method is satisfactory.

All metal parts such as pipes, bolt heads, etc., which are near the
battery should be given at least three coats of asphaltum paint. Care
must be taken not to have an open flame of any kind in the battery
room, as the hydrogen and oxygen gases, given off as a battery charges
may explode and cause injury to the person and possible severe damage
to the battery. When making an installation, it is always a good plan
to carry the following material for taking care of spillage and
broken jars:

1. 1 Thermometer
2. 2 Series Cells
3. 6 Battery Bolts and Nuts
4. 1 Hydrometer Syringe
5. 2 Gallons distilled water
6. 1 Jar Vaseline
7. 1 Gallon 1.220 specific gravity electrolyte

  [Fig. 299 Installation of a Delco-Light plant, showing two-tier
   shelf rack for battery]

When a battery arrives at the shipping destination, the person lifting
this shipment should remove the slats from the top of each crate and
inspect each cell for concealed damage, such as breakage: Should any
damage be discovered, it is important that a notation covering this
damage be made and signed by the freight agent on the freight bill.
This will enable the customer or dealer to make a claim against the
railroad for the amount of damage. If a notation of this kind is not
made before the battery is lifted, the dealer will be forced to stand
the expense of repairing or replacing the damaged cells.

When removing cells from a crate, avoid lifting them by the terminal
posts as much as possible. This causes the weight of the electrolyte
and jar to pull on the sealing compound between the jar and cover, and
if the sealing is not absolutely tight, the jar and electrolyte may
fall from the cover. A cell should never be carried using the terminal
posts as handles. The hand should be put underneath the jar.

Sometimes a battery will arrive with electrolyte spilled from some of
the cells. If spillage is only about one-half to one inch down on the
plates of three or four cells, this spillage may be replaced by
drawing a little electrolyte out of each cell of the other full cells
in the set. Oftentimes several cells will have electrolyte extending
above the water line, which will aid greatly in making up any loss in
other cells. After all cells have been drawn on to fill up the ones
that are spilled, the entire set may then have its electrolyte brought
up to the water line by adding distilled water.

Very carefully adjust spillage of pilot cells (Delco), as it is very
important that the specific gravity of the pilot cells be left as
near 1.220 as possible.

In case the spillage is more than one inch below the top of plates or
glass broken, remove cell and install a new cell in its place. The
spilled or broken cell must not be used until given special treatment.

Connecting Cells

Before connecting up the cells the terminals should be scraped clean
for about 11/2 inches on both sides. An old knife or rough file is
suitable for doing this work. After the terminals are thoroughly
brightened, they should be covered with vaseline. The bolts and nuts
used in making the connections on the battery should also be coated
with vaseline. The vaseline prevents and retards corrosion, which is
harmful to efficient operation.

If a new battery is to be installed in parallel with one already in
service, connections should be made so that each series will consist
of half new and half old cells. The pilot cells for the new battery
should be placed in one series and that for the old battery in the
other, unless local conditions may make some other arrangement

A drop light must always be provided to enable the user to inspect his
battery, particularly when giving the monthly equalizing charge.

Initial Charge

When a battery is connected to the plant, it should be given a proper
INITIAL CHARGE before any power or lights are used.

Batteries shipped filled with electrolyte are fully charged before
leaving the factory. As soon as a storage battery cell of any type or
make is taken off charge and stands idle for a considerable length of
time, some of the acid in the electrolyte is absorbed by the plates,
thereby lowering the gravity and forming sulphate on the plates. This
process is very gradual, but it is continuous, and unless the acid is
completely driven out of the plates by charging before the battery is
used, the battery will not give as good service as the user has a
right to expect. Due to the time required in shipment, the above
action has a chance to take place, which makes it necessary to give
the initial charge.

The initial charge consists of charging the battery, with the power
and light switch open, until each cell is bubbling freely from the top
to bottom on the surface of the outside negative plates and both pilot
balls are up (Delco-Light), and then CONTINUING THE CHARGE FOR FIVE
HOURS MORE. If the battery has no pilot cells, measure the specific
gravity of the electrolyte of each cell, and continue the charge until
six consecutive readings show no increase in gravity.

As an accurate check on giving the initial charge properly
(Delco-Light), we strongly recommend that hourly hydrometer readings
of both pilot cells be taken after both balls are up, the charge to be
continued until six consecutive hourly readings show no RISE in

Due to the fact that it is impossible to hold each cell in a battery
to a definite maximum gravity when fully charged, there is likely to
be a variation of from ten to fifteen points in the specific gravity
readings of the various cells. It should be understood, however, that
the maximum gravity is the gravity when the cells are fully charged
and with the level of the solution at the water line. For example,
with each cell in a battery fully charged and therefore at maximum
gravity and with the level at the proper height, some cells may read
1.230, one or two 1.235, several 1.215 and 1.210. All of these cells
will operate efficiently, and there should be no cause for alarm. An
exception to this is the pilot cell of the Delco-Light Battery.

If this check on the initial charge is properly made, it assures the
service man and dealer that the battery is in proper operating
condition to be turned over to the user. Negligence in giving the
initial charge properly may result in trouble to both user, service
man and dealer.

The initial charge may require considerable running of the plant,
depending upon the state of charge of the cells when installed.

Instructing Users

During the time the initial charge is being given, the service man
should instruct the user on the care and operation of the plant and

The best way to give instructions to the user is to tack the
instruction cards on the wall near the plant in a place where the user
can read them easily.

Proceed to read over the plant operating card with the user. Read the
first item, go to the plant, explain this feature to the user and
allow him to perform the operation, if the instruction calls for
actual performance.

Remember, the user is not familiar with the plant and battery, and the
actual performance of each operation aids him to retain the

After the first item has been covered thoroughly, proceed to the
second, etc. During the course of instruction, the user will often
interrupt with questions not dealing directly with the point being
explained. The service man should keep the user's attention on the
points he is explaining. When the service man has finished explaining
both plant and battery instruction cards, he should answer any points
in question which the user wants explained.

When the monthly equalizing charge is explained to the user, the
service man should always take the user to the battery and show him a
cell bubbling freely. This is necessary in order that the user may
recognize when the cells are bubbling freely at the time he gives the
monthly equalizing charge.

Impress upon the user the importance of inspecting each cell when
giving the monthly equalizing charge to see that every cell bubbles
freely. If a cell fails to bubble freely at the end of the equalizing
charge, the user should inform the service man of this condition

Caution the user against the use of an open flame near the plant or
battery at any time. The gas which accumulates in a cell will explode
sufficiently to break the glass jar if this gas is ignited by a spark
or open flame.

Care of the Plant in Operation

(See also special instructions for the different makes, beginning page

The battery repairman should be able not only to repair the batteries,
but should also be able to keep the entire plant in working order, and
suggestions will be given as to what must be done, although no
detailed instructions for work on the generator, engine, and
switchboard will be given as this is beyond the scope of this book.

Battery Room. The essential things about the battery room are that it
must be clean, dry, and well ventilated. This means, of course, that
the battery and battery rack must also be kept clean and dry. A good
time to clean up is when the battery is being charged. Clean out the
room first, sweeping out dirt and rubbish, dusting the walls, and so
on. Both high and low temperatures should be avoided. If the battery
room is kept too hot, the battery will become heated and the hot
electrolyte will attack the plates and separators. Low temperatures do
no actual harm to a charged battery except to make the battery
sluggish, and seem to lack capacity. A discharged battery will,
however, freeze above 0° Fahrenheit. The battery will give the best
service if the battery room temperature is kept between 60° and 80°

Do not bring any open flame such as a lantern, candle or match near a
battery and do not go near the battery with a lighted cigar, cigarette
or pipe, especially while the battery is charging. Hydrogen and oxygen
gases form a highly explosive mixture. An explosion will not only
injure the battery, but will probably disfigure the one carrying the
light, or even destroy his eyes.

It is a good plan to keep the windows of the battery room open as much
as possible.

Engine. The engine which drives the generator requires attention
occasionally. Wipe off all dirt, oil or grease. Keep the engine well
lubricated with a good oil. If grease cups are used, give these
several turns whenever the engine is run to charge the battery. Use
clean fuel, straining it, if necessary, through a clean cloth or
chamois, if there is any dirt in it. The cooling water should also be
clean, and in winter a non-freezing preparation should be added to it.
Do not change the carburetor setting whenever the engine does not act
properly. First look over the ignition system and spark plug for
trouble, and also make sure that the carburetor is receiving fuel. If
possible, overhaul the engine once a year to clean out the carbon,
tighten bearings and flywheel, remove leaky gaskets, and so on.

Generator. Keep the outside of the generator clean by wiping it
occasionally with an oiled rag. See that there is enough lubricating
oil in the bearings, but that there is not too much oil, especially in
the bearing at the commutator end of the generator. Keep the
commutator clean. If it is dirty, wipe it with a rag moistened
slightly with kerosene. The brushes should be lifted from the
commutator while this is being done. Finish with a dry cloth. If the
commutator is rough it may be made smooth with fine sandpaper held
against it while the generator is running, and the brushes are lifted.

The surfaces of the brushes that bear on the commutator should be
inspected to see that they are clean, and that the entire surfaces
make contact with the commutator. The parts that are making contact
will look smooth and polished, while other parts will have a dull,
rough appearance. If the brush contact surfaces are dirty or all parts
do not touch the commutator, draw a piece of fine sandpaper back and
forth under the brushes, one at a time, with the sanded side of the
paper against the brush. This will clean the brushes and shape the
contact surfaces to fit the curve of the commutator. Brushes should be
discarded when they be come so short that they do not make good
contact with the commutator. See that the brush holders and brush
wires are all tight and clean. Watch for loose connections of wires,
as these will cause voltage loss when the generator is charging the
battery. Watch for "high mica," which means a condition in which the
insulation between the segments projects above the surface of the
commutator, due to the commutator wearing down faster than the
insulation. If this condition arises, the mica should be cut down
until it is slightly below the surface of the commutator. An old hack
saw blade makes a good tool for this purpose. A commutator may have
grooves cut in by the brushes. These grooves do no harm as long as the
brushes have become worn to the exact shape of the grooves. When the
brushes are "dressed" with sandpaper, however, they will not fit the
grooves, and the commutator should be turned down in a lathe until the
grooves are removed.

A steady low hum will be heard when the generator is in operation.
Loud or unusual noises should be investigated, however, as a bearing
may need oil, the armature may be rubbing on the field pole faces, and
so on.

Watch for overheating of the generator. If you can hold your hand on
the various parts of the generator, the temperature is safe. If the
temperature is so high that parts may be barely touched with the hand,
or if an odor of burned rubber is noticeable, the generator is being
overheated, and the load on the generator should be reduced.

Switchboard. Clean off dirt and grease occasionally. Keep switch
contacts clean and smooth. If a "cutout" is on the board, keep its
contacts smooth and clean. If the knife switch blades are hard to
move, look for cutting at the pivots. Something may be cutting into
the blades. If this is found to be the case, use a file to remove all
roughness from the parts of the pivot. See that no switches are bent
or burned.

Keep the back of the board clean and dry as well as the front. See
that all connections are tight. Keep all wires, rheostats, etc.,
perfectly clean. A coat of shellac on the wires, switch studs, etc.,
will be helpful in keeping these parts clean.

Care of Battery

Cleanliness. Keep the battery and battery rack clean. After a charge
is completed, wipe off any electrolyte that may be running down the
outsides of the jars. Wipe all electrolyte and other moisture from the
battery rack. Occasionally go over the rack with a rag wet with
ammonia or washing soda solution. Then finish with a dry cloth. Paint
the rack with asphaltum paint once a year, or oftener if the paint is
rubbed or scratched.

If sand trays are used, renew the sand whenever it becomes very wet
with electrolyte. Keep the terminals and connectors clean. Near the
end of a charge, feel each joint between cells for a poor connection.
Watch also for corrosion on the connections. Corrosion is caused by
the electrolyte attacking any exposed metals other than lead, near the
battery, resulting in a grayish deposit on the connectors or bolts at
the joints. Such joints will become hotter than other joints, and may
thus be located by feeling the joints after the battery has been
charged for some time. Corrosion may be removed by washing the part in
a solution of baking soda.

Be very careful to keep out of the cells anything that does not belong
there. Impurities injure a cell and may even ruin it. Do not let
anything, especially metals, fall into a cell. If this is done
accidentally, pour out the electrolyte immediately, put in new
separators, wash the plates in water, fill with electrolyte having a
gravity about 30 points higher than that which was poured out, and
charge. The cell may be connected in its proper place and the entire
battery charged. Vent plugs should be kept in place at all times,
except when water is added to the electrolyte.

Keep the Electrolyte Above the Tops of the Plates. If the battery has
glass jars, the height of the electrolyte can be seen easily. If the
battery has sealed rubber jars, the height of the electrolyte may be
determined with a glass tube, as described on page 55. In most
batteries the electrolyte should stand from three-fourths of an inch
to an inch above the plates. Some jars have a line or mark showing the
proper height of the electrolyte. A good time to inspect the height of
the electrolyte is just before putting the battery on charge. If the
electrolyte is low, distilled water should be added to bring it up to
the proper level. Water should never be added at any other time, as
the charging current is required to mix the water thoroughly with the

Determining the Condition of the Cells. The specific gravity of the
electrolyte is the best indicator of the condition of the battery as
to charge, just as is the case in automobile batteries, and hence
should be watched closely. It is not convenient or necessary to take
gravity readings on every cell in the battery on every charge or
discharge. Therefore, one cell called the "Pilot" cell should be
selected near the center of the battery and its specific gravity
readings taken to indicate the state of charge or discharge of the
entire battery. Delco-Light batteries each have two pilot cells with
special jars. Each of these has a pocket in one of its walls in which
a ball operates as a hydrometer or battery gauge. One pilot cell
contains the pilot ball for determining the end of the charge, and
other pilot cell containing the ball for determining the end of the
discharge. See Fig. 294.

Hydrometer readings should be taken frequently, and a record of
consecutive readings kept. When the gravity drops to the lowest value
allowable (1.150 to 1.180, depending on the make of battery) the
battery should be charged.

Once every month voltage and gravity readings of every cell in the
battery should be taken and recorded for future guidance. These
readings should be taken after the monthly "overcharge" or "equalizing
charge" which is explained later. If the monthly readings of any cell
are always lower than that of other cells, it needs attention. The low
readings may be due to electrolyte having been spilled and replaced
with water, but in a farm lighting battery this is not very likely to
happen. More probably the cell has too much sediment, or bad
separators, and needs cleaning. See special instructions on Exide and
Prest-O-Lite batteries which are given later.

There are several precautions that must be observed in taking gravity
readings in order to obtain dependable results. Do not take gravity
readings if:

(a) The cell is gassing violently.

(b) The hydrometer float does not ride freely. If a syringe hydrometer
is used, the float must not be touching the walls of the tube, and the
tube must not be so full that the top of the float projects into the
rubber bulb at the upper end of the tube.

(c) Water has been added less than four hours before taking the
readings. A good time to take readings is just before water is added.

The hydrometer which is used should have the specific gravity readings
marked on it in figures, such as 1.180, 1.200, 1.220 and so on.
Automobile battery hydrometers which are marked "Full," "Empty,"
"Charged," "Discharged," must not be used, since the specific
gravities corresponding to these words are not the same in farm
lighting batteries as in automobile batteries and the readings would
be incorrect and misleading. If the manufacturer-of the battery
furnishes a special hydrometer which is marked "Full," "Half-Full,"
"Empty," or in some similar manner, this hydrometer may, of course, be

Temperature corrections should be made in taking hydrometer readings,
as described on page 65. For Prest-O-Lite batteries, 80 degrees is the
standard temperature, and gravity readings on these batteries should
be corrected to 80 degrees as described on page 461.

Gravity readings should, of course, be taken during charge as well as
during discharge. The readings taken during charge are described in
the following sections on charging.


(See also special instructions for the different makes, beginning page

Two kinds of charges should be given the battery, the "Regular"
charge, and the "Overcharge" or "Equalizing Charge." These will be
spoken of as the "Regular" charge and the "Overcharge." The Regular
charge must be given whenever it is necessary in order to enable the
battery to meet the lighting or other load demands made upon it. The
overcharge, which is merely a continuation of a regular charge, should
be given once every month. The overcharge is given to keep the battery
in good condition, and to prevent the development of inequalities in
condition of cells.

When to Charge. Experience will soon show how often you must give a
regular charge in order to keep the lights from becoming dim. When the
voltage reading, taken while all the lamps are on has dropped to 1.8
volts per cell a Regular charge is necessary. When the specific
gravity of the pilot cell indicates that the battery is discharged, a
Regular charge is necessary. It is better to use the specific gravity
readings as a guide, as described later.

A good plan, and the best one, is to give a battery a Regular charge
once every week, whether the battery becomes discharged in one week's
time or not. A regular charge may be required oftener than once a
week. Every fourth week give the Overcharge instead of the Regular

If a battery is to be out of service, arrangements should be made to
add the necessary water and give an overcharge every month, the
Regular charges not being necessary when the battery stands absolutely

Overcharge. Charge the battery as near as practicable at the rate
prescribed by the manufacturer. If the manufacturer's rate is not
known, then charge at a rate which will not allow the temperature of
the electrolyte to rise above 110° Fahrenheit, and which will not
cause gassing while the specific gravity is still considerably below
its maximum value. One ampere per plate in each cell is a safe value
of current to use. A battery having eleven plates in each cell should,
for example, be charged at about 11 to 12 amperes.

Watch the temperature of the pilot cell carefully. This cell should
have an accurate Fahrenheit thermometer suspended above it so that the
bulb is immersed in the electrolyte. If this thermometer should show a
temperature of 110°, stop the charge immediately, and do not start it
again until the temperature has dropped to at least 90'. Feel the
other cells with your hand occasionally, and if any cell is so hot
that you cannot hold your hand on it measure its temperature with the
thermometer to see whether it is near 110'. A good plan is to measure
the temperature of the electrolyte in every cell during the charge. If
any cell shows a higher temperature than that of the pilot cell, place
the thermometer in the cell giving the higher reading, and be guided
by the temperature of that cell. You will then know that the
thermometer indicates the highest temperature in the entire battery,
and that no other cell is dangerously hot when the thermometer does
not read 100 degrees or over. Another point in the selection of a pilot
cell is to determine if any particular cell shows a gravity which is
slightly less than that of the other cells. If any such cell is found,
use that cell as the pilot cell in taking gravity readings while the
battery is on discharge and also on charge. No cell will then be
discharged too far.

When all cells are gassing freely, continue the charge at the same
current until there is no rise in the specific gravity of the pilot
cell for one to two hours, and all cells are gassing freely throughout
the hour. Then stop the charge.

After the overcharge is completed, take gravity readings of all the
cells. A variation of about eight to ten points either above or below
the fully charged gravity after correction for temperature does not
mean that a cell requires any attention. If, however, one cell
continually reads more than 10 points lower then the others, the whole
battery may be given an overcharge until the gravity of the low cell
comes up. If the cell then does not show any tendency to charge up
properly, disconnect it from the battery while the battery is
discharging and then connect it in again on the next charge. If this
fails to bring the gravity of the cell up to normal, the cells should
be examined for short circuits. Short circuits may be caused by broken
separators permitting the active material to bridge between the
plates; the sediment in the bottoms of the jars may have reached the
plates, or conducting substances may have fallen in the cells.

Broken separators should be replaced without loss of time, and the
cells cleaned if the sediment in the jars is high.

Regular Charge. A Regular Charge is made exactly like an Overcharge,
except that a Regular Charge is stopped when cells are gassing freely,
when the voltage per cell is about 2.6, and when the specific gravity
of the pilot cell rises to within 5 points of what it was on the
previous Overcharge. That is, if the gravity reading on the Overcharge
rose to 1.210, the Regular Charge should be stopped when the gravity
reaches 1.205.

Partial or Rapid Charge. If there is not enough time to give the
battery a full Regular Charge, double the normal charging rate and
charge until all the cells are gassing, and then reduce to the normal
rate. Any current which does not cause excessive temperature or
premature gassing is permissible, as previously mentioned. If a
complete charge cannot be given, charge the battery as long as the
available time allows, and complete the charge at the earliest
possible opportunity.


Do not allow the battery to discharge until the lights burn dim, or
the voltage drops below 1.8 per cell. The specific gravity is a better
guide than the lamps or voltage. The gravity falls as the battery
discharges, and is therefore a good indicator of the condition of the
battery. Voltage readings are good guides, but they must be taken
while the battery is discharging at its normal rate. If the load on
the battery is heavy, the voltage per cell might fall below 1.8 before
the battery was discharged. Lamps will be dim if the load on the
battery is heavy, especially if they are located far away from the
battery. The specific gravity readings are therefore the best means of
indicating when a battery is discharged.

Overdischarge. Be very careful not to discharge the battery beyond the
safe limits. Batteries discharging at low rates are liable to be
overdischarged before the voltage gives any indication of the
discharged condition. This is another reason why hydrometer readings
should be used as a guide.

A battery must be charged as soon as it becomes discharged. It is, in
fact, a good plan, and one which will lengthen the life of the
battery, to charge a battery when it is only about three fourths
discharged, as indicated by the hydrometer. Suppose, for instance,
that the specific gravity of the fully charged battery is 1.250, and
the specific gravity when the battery is discharged is 1.180. This
battery has a range of 1.250 minus 1.180, or 70 points between charge
and discharge. This battery will give a longer life if its discharge
is stopped and the battery is put on charge when the gravity falls to
1.200, a drop of 50 points instead of the allowable 70.

Allowing discharged battery to stand without charge. A battery should
never be allowed to stand more than one day in a discharged condition.
The battery will continue to discharge although no current is drawn
from it, just as an automobile battery will. See page 89. The battery
plates and separators will gradually become badly sulphated and it
will be a difficult matter to charge the battery up to full capacity.

Battery Troubles

Farm lighting batteries are subject to the same general troubles that
automobile batteries are, although they are not as likely to occur
because the operating conditions are not as severe as is the case on
the automobile. Being in plain view at all times, and not being
charged and discharged irregularly, the farm lighting battery is not
likely to give as much trouble as an automobile battery. Neglect, such
as failure to keep the electrolyte up to the proper height, failure to
charge as soon as the battery becomes discharged, overdischarging,
allowing battery to become too hot or too cold, allowing impurities to
get into the cells, will lead to the same troubles that the same
treatment will cause in an automobile battery, and the descriptions
of, and instructions for troubles in automobile batteries will apply
in general to farm lighting batteries also.

When a battery has been giving trouble, and you are called: upon to
diagnose and remedy that trouble, you should:

1. Get all the details as to the length of time the battery has been
in service.

2. Find out what regular attention has been paid to its upkeep;
whether it has been charged regularly and given an overcharge once a
month; whether distilled water has been used in replacing evaporation
of water from the electrolyte; whether impurities such as small nails,
pieces of wire, etc., have ever fallen into any cell; whether battery
has ever been allowed to stand in a discharged condition for one day
or more; whether temperature has been allowed to rise above 110 deg. F.
at any time; whether electrolyte has ever been frozen due to battery
standing discharged in very cold weather.

3. Talk to the owner long enough to judge with what intelligence he
has taken care of the battery. Doing this may, save you both time and
subsequent embarrassment from a wrong diagnosis resulting from
incomplete data.

4. After getting all the details that the owner can supply, you will
probably know just about what the trouble is. Look over the cells
carefully to determine their condition. If the jars are made of glass
note the following:

(a) Height of sediment in each jar.

(b) Color of electrolyte. This should be clear and colorless. A
decided color of any kind usually means that dirty or impure water has
been added, or impurities have fallen into the cell. For discussion of
impurities see page 76.

(c) Condition of plates. The same troubles should be looked for as in
automobile batteries. See pages 339 to 346. An examination of the
outside negatives is usually sufficient. The condition of the
positives may also be determined if a flash light or other strong
light is directed on the edges of the plates. Look for growths or
"treeing" between plates.

(d) Condition of separators. See page 346.

If cells have sealed rubber jars, proceed as follows:

(a) Measure height of electrolyte above plates with glass tube, as in
Fig. 30. If in any cell electrolyte is below tops of plates that cell
is very likely the defective one, and should be filled with distilled
water. If a considerable amount of water is required to fill the jar
it is best to open the cell, as the plates have probably become
damaged. If the jar is wet or the rack is acid eaten under the jar,
the jar is cracked and must be replaced.

If you have not found the trouble, make the following tests, no matter
whether glass or rubber jars are used:

(a) Measure specific gravity of each cell. If any cell is badly
discharged it is probably short-circuited, or contains impurities and
had better be opened for inspection.

(b) Turn on all the lamps and measure the voltage of each cell. If any
cell shows a voltage much less than 1.8 it is short-circuited or
contains impurities, and should be opened for inspection.

(c) Examine the connections between cells for looseness or corrosion;
and examine the connections between the battery and the generator,
going over cables, switches, rheostats, etc. Make sure that you have a
complete and closed charging circuit between the generator and the

(d) If cutout is used on the switchboard, see that its contact points
are smooth and clean, and that they work freely.

(e) Run the generator to see if it builds up a voltage which is
sufficient to charge the battery, about 42 volts for a 16 cell battery.
If the generator is not working properly, examine it according to
directions on page 451. Check up the field circuit of the generator to
be sure that it is closed. A circuit-tester made of a buzzer and
several dry cells, or a low voltage lamp and dry cells, or a hand
magneto is convenient for use in testing circuits. Test armature
windings and field coils for grounds.

By the foregoing methods you should be able to determine what is to be
done. The following rules should also help:

Cleaning and renewal of electrolyte is necessary when:

(a) Sediment has risen to within one-half inch of the bottom of the

(b) Much foreign material is floating in the electrolyte, or
electrolyte is of a deep brown color.

Replacement of parts is necessary when

(a) Separators are cracked or warped. See page 346 for Separator

(b) Plates are defective. See rules on pages 339 to 346.


  [Fig. 300 Element from Prest-O-Light farm light cell]

The Prest-O-Lite battery which is designed for use in connection with
farm lighting plants is known as the FPL type. Cells of 7, 9, 11, 13
and 15 plates are made, the number of plates being indicated by
putting the figure in front of the type letters. A seven plate cell is
thus designated as a 7 FPL cell, which has an 80 ampere hour capacity
at the 8 hour continuous discharge rate.

The FPL cell, the construction of which is shown in Figs. 295, 300,
301, 302 and 303, has a sealed glass jar with a lead antimony cover.
The cover construction is shown in detail in Figs. 301 and 302.
Insulation between the posts and cover is provided by a hard rubber
bushing, a hard rubber washer, and a soft rubber washer. The bushing
is shaped like a "T" with a hole drilled in the stem. The stem of the
bushing fits down into the post hole in the cover, the flange at the
top testing on the raised portion of the cover around the post hole.
The post has a shoulder a little less than halfway up from its lower
end. Upon this shoulder is placed the hard rubber washer, and upon the
hard rubber washer is placed the soft rubber washer. This assembly is
fastened to the cover by the "peening" process used in Prest-O-Lite
automobile batteries as described on page 386. This forces the soft
rubber washer tightly against the cover so as to make a leak proof
joint-between the bushing and cover. The ring of lead formed around
the posts by the peening process supports the posts, plates, and
separators, which therefore are suspended from the cell cover. The
plate straps extend horizontally across the tops of the plates, and
thus also act as "hold-downs" for the separators. The separators are
held up by two rectangular rubber bridges which fit Mito slotted
extension lugs cast into the lower corners of the outside negative
plates. An outside negative having these extension lugs is shown in
Figure 303.

  [Fig. 301 Cover of Prest-O-Light farm lighting cell]

  [Fig. 302 Parts of Prest-O-Light farm lighting cell: nut,
   stud, terminal, hard rubber bushing]

  [Fig. 303a Parts of Prest-O-Light farming light cell: glass
   jar, rubber jar, rubber cell connector, glass cell connector]

  [Fig. 303b Parts of Prest-O-Light farm lighting cell: positive
   plate and outside negative plate]

  [Fig. 303c Parts of Prest-O-Light farm lighting cell: long
   lead jumper, jumper, separator, short lead jumper]

Specific Gravity of Electrolyte. The values of the specific gravity of
Prest-O-Lite farm lighting batteries are as follows:

Battery fully charged reads 1.250
Battery three-fourths charged reads 1.230
Battery one-half charged reads 1.215
Battery one-fourth charged reads 1.200
Battery discharged completely reads 1.180

These readings are to be taken with the electrolyte at a temperature
of 80° Fahrenheit. Readings taken at other temperatures should be
converted to 80°. To convert readings at a lower temperature to the
values they would have at 80°, subtract one point for every two and
one-half degrees temperature difference. For example, suppose a cell
reads 1.225 gravity at 60°. To find what the gravity would be if the
temperature of the electrolyte were 80° divide the difference between
80° and 60° by 2-1/2, or 80° minus 60° divided by 21/2 equals 8. The
gravity at 80° would therefore be 1.225 minus .008, or 1.217, which is
the value of specific gravity to use. If the specific gravity is read
at a higher temperature than 80°, divide the difference between 80°
and the temperature at which the gravity reading was taken by 21/2,
and add the result to the actual gravity reading obtained. If, for
example, the gravity were 1.225 at 100°, the gravity at 80° would be
1.225 plus .008, or 1.233.

Charging Rates. The normal charging rate to be used in giving
Prest-O-Lite batteries a regular charge or overcharge are as follows:

Battery      Charging Rate
-------      -------------
5 F.P.L.     5.0 amps.
7 F.P.L.     7.5 amps.
9 F.P.L.     10.0 amps.
11 F.P.L.    12.5 amps.
13 F.P.L.    15.0 amps.
15 F.P.L.    17.5 amps.

Rebuilding Prest-O-Lite Farm Lighting Batteries

Opening the Cell.

1. Make sure that the cell is as fully charged as possible. Since it
is not very convenient to charge a single cell, a good time to open a
cell for cleaning and repairing is immediately after the battery has
been given an overcharge. See page 455.

2. Disconnect the cell from the adjoining ones.

3. Heat a thin bladed putty knife and insert it under the edge of the
lead-antimony cover to melt the sealing compound. Run the knife all
round the cover, heating it again if it should become too cool to cut
the compound readily.

4. Grasp the lead posts above the cover and lift up gradually. This
will bring up the cover, plates, and separators.

5. Place the plates on a clean board for examination. Use the
instructions given on pages 339 to 346. Do not keep the plates out of
the electrolyte long enough to let them dry, and the negatives heat
up. If you cannot examine the plates as soon as you have removed them
immerse them in 1.250 acid contained in a lead or non-metallic vessel
until you can examine them.

6. In renewing the electrolyte, pour in as much new 1.250 acid as
there was old electrolyte in the jar. (It is assumed that the
electrolyte was up to the lower ridge of the glass jar before the cell
was opened.) The new electrolyte must not have a temperature above
100 degrees when it is poured into the jar.

7. The separators can be pulled out easily when the plates are laid on
their sides. All that is necessary is to remove the small rubber
bridge at the bottom corners of the plates. The separators can then be
pulled out. If the old separators are to be used again brush off any
material that may be adhering to them, and keep them wet with 1.250
acid until they are replaced between the plates. Any separators that
show cracks or holes, or that split while being replaced between the
plates should be thrown away and new ones used.

8. It is not necessary to remove the sediment from the bottom of the
jar unless it is within one half inch of the bottom of the plates. If
the sediment is to be removed, carefully pour off the clear
electrolyte into a lead, hard rubber, or earthenware jar, if the
electrolyte is to be used again.

9. If one or two of the plates in either positive or negative groups
need to be replaced it is best to burn a new plate to the strap
without removing the peened cover. This is done by blocking under the
row of plate lugs with metal blocks after cutting off old plate and
cleaning the surface of strap. Insert new plate, the lug of which has
been cut about 1/4 inch short, to allow for new metal. Choosing small
oblong iron blocks of suitable size, build a form about the plate lug
which fits same well. Now with a torch and burning lead fuse the new
plate onto the old strap. When cool remove and test joint by pulling
and slightly twisting the plate at the same time.

Sometimes one group of a starting and lighting battery may be in
sufficiently good condition to pay to combine it with a new group, but
this condition will very rarely, if ever, be met in farm lighting
cell service. We advise the replacement of the complete cell element
if either group is worn out, for the cost of repairs and of new group
will probably not be warranted by the short additional life which the
remaining old group will give.

10. Putting Repaired Cell Back into Service. After having finished all
necessary cleaning, replacement, or repairs, remove all old sealing
material, return the element with attached lead cover to the cell jar.
It is not necessary to reseal the cover to the jars this sealing is
essential only for insurance against breakage or leakage in shipment.

Add through the vent plug opening sufficient cool acid of 1.250 Sp.
Gr. to reestablish the proper electrolyte level, which means that the
electrolyte is brought up to the lower moulded glass ridge near the
top of jar.

Connect the cell with any other repaired cells and charge at normal
rate already indicated under "charging rates" until dell voltage reads
2.5 or above, at 80°. The positive to cadmium voltage should be at
least 0.10 volts less than cell voltage itself. When this condition is
obtained cell may be replaced in operating circuit with others and
should give satisfactory service.


Exide Farm lighting Batteries are made with sealed glass jars, open
glass jars, and sealed rubber jars, each of which will be described.

Batteries with Sealed Glass Jars.

Two types with sealed glass jars are made, these being the Delco Light
Type, and the Exide type.

1. Delco-Light Type. This type is shown in Fig. 294. The cell shown is
a pilot cell, there being two of these in each battery as explained

These cells are made in two sizes, the KXG-7, 7 plate, 80 ampere hour
cell, and the KXG-13, a 13 plate, 160 ampere hour cell. These cells
are assembled into a 32 volt, 16 cell battery, or a 110 volt, 56 cell

The plate groups are supported from the cover, the weight being
carried by the wooden cover supports as shown in Fig. 294. The strap
posts are threaded, and are clamped to the cover and supports by means
of alloy nuts, just as is the case in Exide automobile batteries.

A hard rubber supporting rod or lock pin extending across the bottoms
of the plates holds the separators in position and prevents the plates
from flaring out at the bottom. A soft rubber bumper fastened on each
end of the rod acts as a cushion to prevent jar breakage in shipping.

The hard rubber cover overlaps the flanged top of the jar, to which it
is sealed with special compound.

Battery Gauges and Instruments for Testing.

Every set of Delco-Light batteries has either one or two cells
equipped with a pilot ball. Such a cell is known as a PILOT CELL. Fig.

Pilot Cells are used to indicate to the USER the approximate state of
charge or discharge of the battery.

The pilot ball is a battery gauge which is UP or DOWN, depending upon
the state of charge of the battery.

Very high temperature affects the operation of the pilot ball. This
accounts for-the fact that occasionally a battery will be charged and
the pilot ball will be at the bottom of the pocket. A few hours later,
after the electrolyte has cooled, the pilot ball will rise to the top.

We urge that the user be made to feel that the pilot ball is an
excellent gauge and a good signal to watch in connection with the care
and operation of his Delco-Light plant and battery. (Further mention
will be made of the pilot ball in connection with the subject of
proper operation.)

It is necessary that the maximum specific gravity of pilot cells be as
near 1.220 as possible. Any great variation higher or lower will
affect the operation of the pilot balls. Therefore, every effort
should be made to adjust the maximum specific gravity of pilot cells
to 1.220 when placed in service.

Batteries equipped with one pilot cell contain a white pilot ball
which will be up when the specific gravity of the electrolyte is
approximately 1.185. This ball will drop DOWN when the specific
gravity falls a little below 1.185.

In other words, the pilot ball will float at a specific gravity of
1:185 or higher, and will sink at a specific gravity lower than 1.185.

Therefore, when the pilot ball is UP, the battery is more than half
charged. When the pilot ball is DOWN, the battery is more than half

Batteries equipped with two pilot cells have one cell which contains a
white ball and the other cell a white ball with a blue band.

The plain white ball will be UP when the specific gravity is
approximately 1.175. The blue band ball will be UP when the specific
gravity is approximately 1.205.

When both balls are UP, the battery is charged. When DOWN, the battery
is discharged. The blue band ball will drop soon after the battery
starts on discharge, or, in other words, when the specific gravity
falls below 1.205. The white ball will remain UP until the specific
gravity falls below 1.175.

The Ampere-Hour Meter

The ampere-hour meter, Fig. 304, is an instrument for indicating to
the user the state of charge of the battery at all times and serves
to-stop the plant automatically so equipped, when the battery is
charged. (Further mention will be made of the ampere hour meter on
page 471.)

In order to check the speed of the ampere-hour meter, use the
following rule: On charge, the armature disc should give 16
revolutions in 30 seconds, with a charging rate of 15 amperes; on
discharge, the armature disc should give 20 revolutions in 30 seconds,
with a discharging rate of 15 amperes.

  [Fig. 304 Delco-Light Ampere-Hour Meter]


The standard hydrometer for service men is known as the Type V-2B.

A special type hydrometer showing three colored bands in place of
numbers has been designed for users.

The bands are red, green and black. When the hydrometer test shows the
bottom of the red band in the electrolyte, the battery, whether in
glass or rubber jar, is discharged. When the top of the green band is
out of the electrolyte, the glass jar battery is charged. The top of
the black band out of the electrolyte indicates the rubber jar battery
is charged.

When and How to Charge Battery

Plants with Average Loads

Loads of legs than ten (10) amperes can be taken directly from the
battery, until:

1. The large hand on the ampere-hour meter reaches 12, or

2. Both pilot balls are down, or

3. Hydrometer test shows bottom of red band in the electrolyte.

If any or all of the three gauges listed above show the battery
discharged, the plant should be started and operated continuously
until the battery is charged, as indicated by:

1. Ampere-hour meter hand at FULL, or

2. Both pilot balls UP, or

3. Hydrometer test shows top of FULL band out of electrolyte.

(NOTE: Any one or all of the above three items may indicate battery
charged. Meter hand at FULL would necessitate both balls UP. If both
balls are not up, set hand back and charge to bring them up; then set
hand at FULL.)

Should the user be operating for two or three hours with a seven or
eight-ampere load, it would be more efficient to run the plant to
carry this load. This only applies for those cases where the battery
is partly discharged.

Carry Heavy Loads Greater Than 10 Amperes.

If there is a constant load of 10 amperes or more, the plant should be
started up when the heavy load comes on. When the heavy load is off,
the plant may be stopped, but it would be entirely satisfactory to
allow the plant to continue to run until "Charged," as indicated by:

1. Ampere-hour meter hand reaches FULL, or

2. Both pilot balls are UP, or

3. Hydrometer test shows top of FULL band out of electrolyte.

In any case, plant should be run until battery is "Charged" at least
once a week.

Always Start Charging When Battery Gauges Indicate Battery Discharged.

On ampere-hour meter plants, when the hand is at FULL, the plant
cannot be operated on account of the ignition circuit being broken.

In such cases allow load to be taken from the battery until the hand
travels back sufficiently to allow the plant to run.

Occasionally the plant and battery are used to carry continuous loads
of from 10 to 15 amperes each night, with practically no day load.
This condition necessitates running the plant to carry the load, but
at the same time the battery is continually receiving from 10 to 15
amperes charge, with the result that the battery may receive too much
charging. This would be indicated by the battery bubbling freely every
time the plant is operated. To prevent this condition, the user should
be instructed to carry the load off the battery frequently enough to
prevent continual bubbling.

Where Small Load Is Used.

There are many installations where the battery capacity is sufficient
to last several weeks. On installations of this kind it is advisable
to charge the battery to FULL at least once a week.

The dealer or service man should use his own judgment on the preceding
instructions as to which is best suited for the different conditions

Regularly on the first of each month, regardless of whether or not the
battery has been used, a special charge, called the Equalizing Charge,
should be given. This charge should be given as follows: The battery
should be charged until EACH cell is bubbling freely from top to
bottom on surface of the outside negative plates and then the charge
should be continued for TWO MORE HOURS.

The monthly equalizing charge is a NECESSARY precautionary measure to
insure that the user will bring each cell in the battery up to maximum
gravity at least once a month. It also provides a means on the
ampere-hour meter plants to set the ampere-hour meter hand at FULL
when the battery is FULL.

The users should be cautioned to inform the service man or dealer
immediately if any cell fails to bubble at the end of an equalizing
charge, when all others are bubbling freely. This will enable the
service man to inspect such cells for trouble and remedy same before
the trouble becomes serious. (See further information under inspection
and repairs.)


Undercharging or injurious sulphation is the most common trouble
encountered. Undercharging causes the plates to blister and bulge, and
in place of good gray edges on the negative plates and good brown
color edges on the positive plates, the edges will show a faded color,
with very little brown color showing on the edges of the positive

Overcharging is not so evident on inspection, except that in such
cases the active material from the positive plates, which is brown in
color, will be thrown to the bottom as sediment more rapidly than the
sediment would accumulate due to normal wear.

Heavy usage on a battery will also cause considerable sediment in the
bottom of the cells, so that it is necessary to investigate carefully
whether it is overcharging or overwork. A few questions as to method
of operation and load requirements will aid in deciding the cause of
excessive sediment. (See When and How to Charge, page 468.)

Sediment Space Filled.

When the space below the plates is filled up with sediment and
touching the plates, the cell becomes short-circuited and will
deteriorate very rapidly. It will be noticed, however, that the
sediment is heaped in the middle of the cell. If the cells are
unbolted and unshaken, it will level the sediment and leave a space
between the sediment and plates. It is very important that the
sediment be shaken down before the cell becomes short-circuited. This
will very often prolong the life of the battery a number of months.
When the sediment space is completely filled, approximately all the
active material will be out of the positive plates.

A thorough study should be made as to the general condition of the
battery and method of operation before forming an opinion or
suggesting any change in method of operation.

Check Ampere-Hour Meters

On plants which have ampere-hour meters, the meter should be checked
as to its speed on discharge, and also check position of the meter
hand at the time of inspection, to see if it checks with the specific
gravity and the pilot balls. (See Ampere Hour Meter, page 467.)

It will generally be found that when a battery is sulphated, it is
operating in very low specific gravity, or, in other words, the
charges have not been carried far enough to drive all the acid out of
the plates.

A battery that is not receiving quite enough charge may not as a whole
become "sulphated," but several cells might become considerably weaker
than the others and become "sulphated," causing trouble in these
particular cells. Such cells will not bubble freely, or possibly not
at all, when the other cells are bubbling freely. Therefore, a few
questions to the user will generally help in locating the low cells.

Cells that are in trouble, or which soon will be, can very easily be
picked out by making a few tests on the battery. Therefore, on all
inspections, regardless of the age of a battery, it is suggested that
the following tests be made: Take a specific gravity reading of all
cells and note if there are any cells much lower than the others. Amy
cells having a specific gravity of 30 points lower than the average
will generally be found to be in trouble, unless these cells happen to
be low from having had spillage in shipment, replaced with water.
(This condition, however, should not exist in future installations if
the spillage is properly taken care of, as has been explained on page

Voltage Readings

After taking a specific gravity reading, a voltage reading of each
cell should be taken. Voltage readings taken on open circuit are of no
value, so while taking these readings the battery should be on
discharge, having at least a discharge of 15 amperes. A good way to
get this discharge is to hold the starting switch in and set mixing
valve lever at lean point or wide open.

A low or defective cell will show a voltage reading .10 to .20 volts
lower than the other cells on discharge, while a reversed cell will
show a reading in the reversed direction when on discharge, especially
on heavy discharge.

The voltage readings are a sure check if taken in connection with the
specific gravity. When you have low specific gravity and low voltage
on the same cells, it is a sure indication of low cells. These cells
should be inspected for the probable cause of their being low.
Shorting of the lugs at bottom of plates and moss bridging across at
bottom of the elements, or possibly a split separator, will generally
be the main trouble.

When any of these conditions exist, it is best to take the low cells
back to your shop for repairs.

When there is absolutely no indication why the cells are low, they can
be cut out of the battery on discharge and put in on charge, until
they come up.

The following is a good example of readings taken on a battery with a
10-ampere discharge and having four low cells, 4, 8, 11 and 16. The
battery had been giving poor service, due to insufficient charging:

Cell No.     Specific Gravity     Volts
1               1.200             1.98
2               1.180             1.95
3               1.205             1.98
4               1.150             1.75
5               1.190             1.95
6               1.195             1.98
7               1.200             1.98
8               1.130             1.70
9               1.200             1.95
10              1.205             1.98
11              1.100             1.40
12              1.190             1.95
13              1.180             1.95
14              1.195             1.98
15              1.190             1.95
16              0.000             zero or

The main thing to consider in checking voltage readings is the
variation from the average. The average voltage readings will vary,
depending on the state of charge of the battery when the readings are


To repair, the following equipment is necessary:

1. Portable lead burning outfit.
2. A suitable blow torch.
3. Standard sealing nut wrench.
4. File (shoemaker's rasp).
5. Pair of pliers.
6. Putty knife.
7. Pair of tin snips.
8. Wooden blocks to support elements while being worked upon.
9. Good supply of battery parts consisting of:
   KXG-13 Glass jars
   KXG-13 Pilot jars
   KXG-13 Positive groups
   KXG-13 Negative groups
   KXG-13 Round rods
   KXG-13 Vent plugs
   Sealing nuts
   Rubber gaskets
   Wood separators
   KXG-13 Rubber covers
   KXG-7 Round rods
   Lead pins
   Carboy electrolyte (including retainer).
   KXG-7 Pilot jars
   KXG-7 Glass jars
   KXG-7 Positive groups
   KXG-7 Negative groups
   Outside negative plates
   KXG-7 Rubber covers
   Emergency repair straps

Disassembling a Cell

The glass jar battery covers are sealed to the jars by sealing
compound, which may be softened very easily with a blow-torch.

When a blow-torch or an open flame is used for softening the sealing
compound, the vent plug MUST be removed before applying a flame. It is
also important to blow into the vent after the plug has been removed
in order to expel any gas that may have collected in the space above
the electrolyte in the cell.

If the gas is held in place by leaving the vent plug in, it is apt to
explode when an open flame or intense heat is applied to the cover.,

Removing covers may be greatly facilitated by suspending the cell by
the terminals, as shown in Fig. 305. Care should be taken to make this
suspension so that the bottom of the jar will not be more than two
inches above the table. A pad of excelsior should be placed under it
to avoid breaking the glass jar when it drops.

  [Fig. 305 Softening sealing compound, Delco-Light cell]

After the sealing compound has been sufficiently softened, the cover
may be loosened by inserting a hot putty knife, as shown in Fig. 306,
There is no danger of breaking the cover by this operation if the
cover has been sufficiently warmed. After the jar of electrolyte has
dropped, the element should be removed from the jar and carefully
placed across the top of it, so that the solution upon the plates will
drain back into the jar. (See Fig. 307.)

  [Fig. 306 Removing Delco-Light cell cover]

  [Fig. 307 Draining element, Delco-Light cell]

  [Fig. 308 Removing cover of Delco-Light cell]

  [Fig. 309 Removing lock pin, Delco-Light cell]

After element has drained, place on wooden blocks, as shown in Fig.
308, and remove cover. Clean the sealing compound from the cover and
jar immediately with a putty knife. Turn element upside down with
posts through holes in bench and remove lead pin and rubber bumper and
withdraw, lock pin. (Fig. 309.) The separators may then be withdrawn
from the group. (Fig. 310.)

  [Fig. 310 Removing separatots, Delco-Light cell]

  [Fig. 311 Assembling separators, Delco-Light cell]


Place the positive and negative groups upside down with posts through
holes in bench and slide in separators. The wood and rubber separators
are inserted as follows: The rubber separator is placed against the
grooved side of the wood separator, and the two are then slipped
between the negative and positive plates with the rubber separator
next to the positive plate. (See Fig. 311.)

Inserting Locking Pin

A rubber bumper is pinned on one end of the lock pin by means of a
lead pin, and the lock pin is then slipped into place with the lock
pin insulating washer placed between the outside negative plates and
the wood separators. (See Fig. 312.)

A rubber bumper is then slipped over the other end of the lock pin and
secured by a lead pin.

Place element on wooden blocks and fasten cover, as shown in Fig. 313.

  [Fig. 313 Fastening cover, Delco-Light cell]

  [Fig. 314 Preparing cover for sealing, Delco-Light cell]

Sealing Covers

Be sure all old sealing compound and traces of electrolyte are removed
from the cover. Heat sealing compound until it can be handled like
putty, roll out into a strip about 1/2 inch in diameter, place strip
of compound around inside edge of cover (Fig. 314) and heat to melting
point with blow-torch. The top of jar should also be heated to insure
a tight seal. Compound can be melted in a suitable vessel and a 1/2
inch strip poured around cover.

When sealing compound and jar have been heated sufficiently, turn jar
upside down (Fig. 315) and carefully place jar over element and press
gently into compound. (Do not press hard.) Immediately place jar and
element upright, and press cover firmly into place. (Press hard.)
Finally, tighten sealing nuts. The cell is now ready for the

  [Fig. 315 Sealing jar of Delco-Light cell]

Filling Cell with Electrolyte

Repaired cells should be filled with electrolyte of 1.200 specific
gravity, or with water, as the case may require.

Standard Delco-Light electrolyte of 1.220 specific gravity may be
purchased from the Delco Light distributor. The 1.220 electrolyte
should be reduced to 1.200 by adding a very small amount of distilled
water. This should be thoroughly mixed by pouring the solution from
one battery jar into another. The 1.200 specific gravity electrolyte
may then be added to the newly assembled cell until flush with the
water line.


The completed KXG-13 cell should be placed on a 12-ampere charge and
kept on charge until maximum gravity has been reached. A KXG-7 cell
should be charged at a 6-ampere rate.

Adjusting Gravity of Electrolyte

If the maximum gravity is above 1.220, draw off some of the
electrolyte and refill to water line with distilled water. The charge
should then be continued for at least one hour to thoroughly mix the
electrolyte before taking another hydrometer reading. It may be
necessary to repeat this operation.

If the maximum gravity is below 1.220, pour off the electrolyte into a
glass jar or a suitable receptacle, and then refill the cell with
1.220 electrolyte. Charge for one hour to thoroughly mix the solution
before checking readings.

NOTE: Gravity readings in adjusting the electrolyte should always be
taken in connection with thermometer readings, making necessary
temperature corrections. This is particularly important in adjusting
electrolyte in pilot cells.


Treating Broken Cells

Whenever a shipment of batteries is received in which any of the jars
have been broken, the first thing to do is to carefully remove the
elements from the broken jars to prevent damage to the plates or
separators. These elements should be placed in distilled water to
prevent further drying. The plates will not be damaged in any way and
can be restored to a healthy condition by charging in 1.200 specific
gravity at a 12-ampere rate for the 13-plate cell or, 6-ampere rate
for the 7-plate cell, until maximum gravity is reached. (See Charging
and Adjustment of Electrolyte, explained on page 481.)

Treating Spilled Cells

If the spillage is more than one inch below the water level, it should
be replaced by electrolyte of 1.200 specific gravity and charged to
maximum gravity.

Treating Badly Sulphated Cells That Have Been in Service

When cells are removed from an installation to make repairs, they are
usually badly sulphated, which means that considerable acid is in the

In charging such cells, use distilled water in place of electrolyte,
as this will allow the acid to come out of the plates more readily.
The KXG-13 cells should be charged at about 12 amperes and the KXG-7
cells at 6 amperes. Cells badly sulphated when charged at the low rate
will require from 50 to 100 hours to reach maximum gravity. Extreme
cases will require even longer charging.

In case it is impossible to read the gravity after the cells have been
on charge a sufficient length of time, pour out the solution and use
1.220 specific gravity.

The charge should then be continued further to insure that maximum
gravity has been reached.

CAUTION: Should the temperature of the electrolyte approach 110° F.,
the charging rate should be reduced or the charge stopped until the
cell has cooled.

Treating Reversed Cells

A complete battery may be reversed if the battery is completely
discharged and its voltage is not sufficient to overcome any residual
magnetism the generator might have. Under such conditions the negative
plates will begin to discolor brown and the positive turn gray. Such a
case would be extremely rare.

The remedy is to first completely discharge the cells to get rid of
the charge in the wrong direction. Then short-circuit them. (Connect a
wire across the terminals.) Then charge them in the right direction at
a low rate. (12 amperes for a KXG-13 cell, or 6 amperes for a KXG-7
cell.) Charge until the specific gravity reaches a maximum. If the
battery is operated reversed for any length of time, the negatives
will throw off their active material and become useless.

A single cell may become reversed by gradually slipping behind the
rest of the cells in a set, due to insufficient charging, until it
becomes so low that it will reverse on each discharge. This condition
cannot be corrected by giving the regular charge, but it will be
necessary to give an equalizing charge, continuing the charge until
the cell is in normal condition. (Be sure to make temperature
corrections when taking hydrometer readings.) If the cell appears to
require an excessive amount of charge to restore it to condition, it
should be removed and taken to the repair shop for a separate charge.

If the cell has been allowed to operate in a reversed condition to
such an extent that the entire material of the negative plates has
turned brown, both positive and negative groups should be discarded.

Removing Impurities

Impurities, such as iron, salt (chlorine) or oil, may accidentally get
into a cell, due to careless handling of distilled water.

Iron is dissolved by sulphuric acid and the positive plates become
affected, change color (dirty yellow) and wear rapidly. The cell
becomes different from the rest in gravity, voltage and bubbling. The
remedy is to discard the electrolyte as soon as possible, flush the
plates and separators in several changes of water, thoroughly wash the
jar, use new electrolyte and then proceed in same manner as explained
for the treatment of badly sulphated cells, page 482.

Chlorine has an effect about as described for iron, and is evident by
the odor of chlorine gas. The remedy is the same as for iron.

Oil in the electrolyte, if allowed to get into the pores of the
plates, will fill them and lower the capacity very much. It affects
negative plates much more than positives. Probably the only remedy in
this case is new plates.

Impurities of any nature should be removed as quickly as possible.

Clearing High Resistance Short Circuits

A high resistance short is caused by the sediment falling from the
plates and lodging between the positive and negative lugs. As a rule
this condition will occur only when severe sulphation is present in
the plates.

A cell in this condition can be repaired by removing the element and
clearing the short circuit. The wood separators should then be
withdrawn and replaced by new ones. Lock pin insulating washers.
should be installed land the element reassembled in the jar and
charged to maximum gravity.

Clearing Lug Shorts

Short-circuited lugs are caused by excessive sulphation. The outside
negative bulges and the bottom lug bends over and touches the adjacent
positive lug. This can be remedied by removing both outside negative
plates and burning on new plates which have already been charged and
inserting lock pin insulating washers.

Putting Repaired Cells Back in Service

When placing a new or repaired cell in a battery which is in service,
connect in the cell at the beginning of a charge. This will insure
that the new or repaired cell is started off in good condition,
because this charge is of the nature of an initial charge to these

Charging Outside Negative Plates

Individual negative plates are always received dry, which makes it
necessary to charge them before using. The best way to charge such
plates is as follows: Set up 7 loose negative plates in a KXG-13 jar
together with a good positive group, using KXG separators to prevent
the plates touching. Then stretch a piece of wire solder across the
lugs at the top of the negative plates and solder the wire to the
plates. Fig. 316. The jar may then be filled with 1200 specific
gravity and the plates charged at a 12-ampere rate until maximum
gravity is obtained. Never use negative plates unless they have been
treated as described above. After the charge is completed, the
negative plates may be placed in distilled water and kept until ready
for use. Always be sure to give a charge to maximum gravity after
burning on new negative plates to an element.

  [Fig. 316 Preparing outside negatives for charging]

Pressing Negative Plates

After badly sulphated cells are recharged, it is sometimes advisable
to remove the elements and, press the negative plates, as explained on
page 351. Care should be taken to prevent the negative plates from
drying out while making repairs, in order to avoid the long charge
necessary for dried negative plates.

The battery should be charged to maximum gravity before attempting to
press the plates.

It is not necessary and will do no good to press the positive plates.

In some cases the active material may be nearly all out of the outside
negative plates and the inside negatives may be in good condition, in
which case new charged plates should be burned on. (Fig. 322.)

Salvaging Replaced Cells

When it has been necessary to replace cells which have been in
service, the elements can very often be saved and assembled again and
used as replacement cells in batteries which are several years old. In
no case should the cells be used as new cells.

The positive plates may be allowed to dry out, but the negatives
should be kept in distilled water and not allowed to dry out in the
least. They should not be kept this way indefinitely, but should be
assembled and charged as soon as possible.

Do not attempt to repair groups or plates which have lost as much as
half of the active material in wear, or which have the active material
disintegrated and falling out. Such plates should not be used. This
does not apply to small bits of active material knocked out
mechanically and amounting to an extremely small percentage of the
whole. Abnormal color indicates possible impurity, and such plates
should be washed and used with caution. Badly cracked or broken plates
should be replaced with new plates or plates from other groups.

Before new negative plates are used they should be fully charged. (See
Charging Negative Plates, page 484.)

Always use new wood separators when assembling repaired cells.

When cells have been operated reversed in polarity to such an extent
that the active material of the negative plates has turned brown, both
positive and negative groups may have to be replaced.

Repairing Lead Parts

The portable carbon burning outfit used for battery repairs is
operated from the battery itself, making it possible to make repairs
at the user's residence without using a gas flame.

This outfit can be secured from the Delco-Light Company, Dayton, Ohio,
and consists of a carbon holder with cable, clamp, and one-fourth inch
carbon rods. Six cells are usually required to properly heat the
carbon. If it is completely discharged an outside source must be used.
For this purpose a six-volt automobile battery is suitable, or a tray
of demonstrating batteries, one terminal being connected to the
connection to be burned, the other to the cable of the burning tool. A
little experience will soon demonstrate the number of cells necessary
to give a satisfactory heat. The cable is connected by means of the
clamp to a cell in the battery, the required number of cells away from
the joint to be burned. Care should be taken that contact is made by
the clamp, the lead being scraped clean before the connection is made.
The carbon should be sharpened to a long point like a lead pencil and
should project not more than 2 inches from the holder. (Fig. 317.)

  [Fig. 317 Repairing broken post, Delco-Light cell]

After being used a short time, the carbon will not heat properly, due
to a film of scale formed on the surface. This should be cleaned off
with a file.

In case of lead burning, additional lead to make a flush joint should
not be added until the metal of the pieces to be joined has melted.
The carbon should be moved around to insure a solid joint at all

In case a post is broken off under the cover, proceed as follows: To
make repairs take an old group and cut off the post about one-half way
down. Saw off the post to be repaired to such a length that when the
new post is burned on the length of the post will be approximately the
same length as the original post.

Repairing Broken Posts.

Make a half circle mould out of a piece of tin or galvanized iron, as
shown in Fig. 317. Burn solid the side of the post facing up, file it
around and then turn the group over, place the form on the burned side
and proceed to complete the burning operation.


1. Always use clean lead.

2. Do not clean the lead and let it stand for any length of time
before starting to burn. If it is allowed to stand it will oxidize and
prevent a good burning operation.

3. Burn with an are and not with a red hot carbon.

Burning on Straps

Place the strap to be burned in a vise and split the end through the
center and then bend the two halves over to form a foot, as shown in
Fig. 318. Make a mould out of a piece of tin or galvanized iron and
place this mould around the post to which this strap is to be burned.
(Fig. 319.) Then proceed to burn the post and strap together.

  [Fig. 318 Splitting end of strap, Delco-Light cell]

When a union is made between the strap and the post a small amount of
new clean lead should be burned on the top of the foot to reinforce
this point. Care should be taken not to get the mould too high, as
this will cause trouble in getting the carbon down to the foot and the

  [Fig. 319 Burning on negative strap, Delco-Light cell]

  [Fig. 320 Auxiliary strap, Delco-Light cell]

  [Fig. 321 Positioning auxiliary strap, Delco-Light cell]

How to Eliminate Burning on Straps by Use of an Auxiliary Strap

A very good way to repair broken straps without the burning operation
is to use the auxiliary strap shown in Fig. 320. This strap is slipped
over the post of the terminal or strap which is broken and the sealing
nut is then clamped down on the strap, as shown in Fig. 321. These
straps may be obtained from the Delco-Light Distributors or from the
Delco-Light factory at Dayton, Ohio.

Burning on New Plates

  [Fig. 322 Burning on outside negative plate, Delco-Light cell]

When it is necessary to burn on new plates, carefully clean with a
file the lead on both the plate and the common strap to which all
plates of the group are attached. Block up the plate with thin boards
or wood separators until it is spaced the proper distance from the
adjacent plate. Care should be taken to see that the side and bottom
edge of the plate to be burned on is in line with the other plates of
the group. Proceed to burn on the plate by drawing a small blaze or
are and do not attempt to burn with just a glowing carbon. (Fig. 322.)

If only a glowing carbon is used the result will be a smeary mass and
in the majority of cases will not hold, due to the fact that it is not
welded but simply attached in one or two points.

The principle of lead burning is to weld or burn two parts into one
solid mass and not merely attach one to the other.

Keeping Wood Separators In Stock

No wood separators should be used except those furnished by the
Delco-Light Company. These should be kept in distilled water, to which
has been added 1.220 electrolyte in the proportion of one part to ten
parts of water. It is advisable whenever possible to use new
separators when making repairs on a cell. Separators which have been
in service are liable to be damaged by handling.

Freezing Temperature of Electrolyte

The freezing temperatures of electrolyte in the Delco-Light batteries
depends upon the specific gravity of the battery. The Delco-Light
battery fully charged, with a specific gravity of 1.220, should not
freeze above a temperature of 30 degrees below zero. Since, however,
the freezing point rises very rapidly with a decrease in specific
gravity, special care should be taken to keep batteries charged when
temperatures below zero are encountered. The following table shows
freezing temperatures of several different gravities of electrolyte.

Specific Gravity       Freezing Point
----------------       --------------
1.100                  19° F. above zero.
1.150                   5° F. above zero.
1.175                   6° F. below zero.
1.200                  16° F. below zero.
1.220                  31° F. below zero.

At the temperature given, the electrolyte does not freeze solid, but
forms a slushy mass of crystals, which does not always result in jar

Care of Cells in Stock

Frequently a Dealer or Distributor will have several sets of new
batteries in stock for five or six months. In this case, the cells
should be given a freshening charge before putting into service. This
charge should consist of charging the cells to maximum gravity.

Cells received broken in transit or cells sent in for repairs should
be repaired and charged as soon as possible and put into service
immediately. This eliminates the possibility of the cells standing
idle over a long period in which they would need a freshening charge
before they could be used.

However, if such cells must be kept in stock, they can be maintained
in a healthy condition by keeping on charge at a one fifth ampere rate
for 13-plate cells and one-tenth ampere rate for 7-plate cells.

Taking Batteries Out of Commission

If a battery is not to be used at all for a period not longer than
about 9 months, it can be left idle if it is first treated as follows:
Add sufficient water to bring the electrolyte up to the water line in
all cells and then give an equalizing charge, continuing the charge
until the specific gravity of each cell is at a maximum, five
consecutive hourly readings showing no rise in gravity. As soon as
this charge is completed, take out the battery fuse and open up one or
two of the connections between cells so that no current can be taken
from the battery. Have vent plugs in place to minimize evaporation.

If the battery is to be taken out of commission for a longer time than
9 months, the battery should be fully charged as above and the
electrolyte poured off into suitable glass or porcelain receptacles.
The plates should immediately be covered with water for a few hours to
prevent the negatives heating, after which the separators should be
removed, the water poured out of the jars, and the positive and
negative groups placed back in the jar for storage. Examine the
separators. If they are cracked or split they should be thrown away.
If in good condition they should be stored for further use in a
non-metallic receptacle and covered with water, to which has been
added electrolyte of 1.220 specific gravity, in the proportion of one
part electrolyte to ten of water by volume.

Putting Batteries Into Commission After Being Out of Service

When putting batteries into commission again, if the electrolyte has
not been withdrawn, all that is necessary is to add water to the cells
if needed, replace connections, and give an equalizing charge.

If the electrolyte has been withdrawn and battery disassembled, it
should be reassembled, taking care not to use cracked, split or
dried-out separators, and then the cells should be filled with the old
electrolyte, which has been saved, provided no impurity has entered
the electrolyte. After filling, allow the battery to stand for 12
hours and then charge, using 6 amperes for KXG-7 size and 12 amperes
for the KXG-13 size. Charge at this rate until all cells start gassing
freely or temperature rises to 110° F. Then reduce the charging rate
one-half, and continue at this rate until the specific gravity is at a
maximum, five consecutive hourly readings showing no rise in gravity.
At least 40 hours will be required for this charge. To obtain these
low rates with the Delco-Light plant, lights or other
current-consuming devices must be turned on while charging.

General Complaints from Users and How to Handle Them.

1. Pilot balls do not come up.

This condition may be caused by

(a) Battery discharged.
(b) Weak electrolyte caused by spillage in shipment.
(c) Defective ball.

Question the user to determine whether the ball will not come up if
the pilot cell is bubbling freely. Weak electrolyte or a defective
ball will require a service trip to determine the one which is
responsible for the ball not rising. (See page 470.)

2. Lights dim-must charge daily.

This condition may be caused by

(a) Discharged battery.
(b) Loose dirty connections in battery or line.
(c) Low cells in battery.

The user should be questioned to determine whether the battery is
being charged sufficiently. In case the user is positive the battery
is charged, the next probable trouble would be that there were some
loose or dirty connections in either plant or battery. Have the user
check for loose connections. Should it be necessary to make an
inspection trip, instruct the user to give battery an equalizing
charge so the battery will be fully charged when the inspection is

Low cells can be checked by asking the user if all of the cells bubble
freely when equalizing charge is given. In case user claims several
cells fail to bubble, an inspection trip would be necessary to
determine the trouble. (See page 470.)

3. Cells bubbling when on discharge.

This complaint would indicate a reversed cell. (See page 483.)

4. Cells overflowing on charge.

This would mean that the cells were filled too high above water lines.

5. Engine cranks slowly but does not fire.

This would indicate over-discharged battery. Explain to user how to
start plant under this condition.

6. Plant will not crank.

This might be caused by

(a) Blown battery fuse.
(b) Battery over-discharged.
(c) Loose or broken connection on battery or switchboard.


The Exide type is shown in Figure 296. The plates are held in position
both by the cover and by soft rubber support pieces in the bottom of
the jar. The support pieces are provided with holes in which
projections on the bottom of the plates are inserted. The cover is of
heavy moulded glass. The separators are of grooved wood in combination
with a slotted rubber sheet (Fig. 297). The strap posts are threaded
and are clamped to the cover by means of alloy nuts. The cover
overlaps the top of the jar to which it is sealed with sealing
compound. The method of sealing and unsealing is practically the same
as in the Exide Delco-Light Type.

Batteries with Open Glass Jars

Batteries with open glass jars, in addition to the conducting lug,
have two hanging lugs for each plate. The plates are hung from the jar
walls by these hanging lugs, as shown in Figs. 323 and 324. The plate
straps, instead of being horizontal are vertical and provided with a
tail so that adjacent cells may be bolted together by bolt connectors
through the end of the tail.

1. The Exide Cell is shown in Fig. 324. It has a grooved wood
separator between each positive and negative plate. The separators are
kept from floating up by a glass "hold-down" laid across the top. The
separators are provided at the top with a pin which rests on the
adjoining plates. The pins together with the plate glass hold-downs
keep the separators in Position.

To remove an element it is simply necessary to unbolt the connectors,
remove the glass cover and hold-down and lift wit the element.

2. The Chloride Accumulator cell is shown in Fig. 323. It differs from
the Exide only in type of plates and separators. The positive plates
are known as Manchester positives and have the active material in the
form of corrugated buttons which are held in a thick grid, as shown in
Fig. 325. The buttons are brown in color, the same as all positive
active material.

The separators, instead of being grooved wood, am each a sheet of wood
with six dowels pinned to it.

The element is removed the same as in the Exide type.

  [Fig. 323 Exide chloride accumulator cell with open glass jar,
   and Fig. 324 Exide cell with open glass jar]

Batteries with Sealed Rubber Jars

1. The Exide cell is shown in Fig. 326. It is assembled similar to
Exide starting and lighting batteries, except that the plates are
considerably thicker, wood and rubber separators are used, and the
terminal posts are shaped to provide for bolted instead of burned-on
connection. The method of sealing and unsealing the cells is the same
as in Exide starting and lighting batteries.

All instructions already given for glass for cells apply to rubber jar
cells except for a few differences in assembling and disassembling.

Care should be taken to keep the water level at least 1/2 inch above
plates at all times as the evaporation is very rapid in rubber jar

The temperature should be watched on charging to prevent overheating.
Never allow temperature to go above 110° F.

Unlike the glass jar cells the sediment space in the rubber jar is not
sufficient to take care of all the active material in the positive
plates. On repairs, therefore, always clean out the sediment and
prevent premature short circuits.

  [Fig. 325 Manchester positive plates, and
   Fig. 326 Exide cell with sealed rubber jar]


Jars. Westinghouse Farm Lighting Battery jars are made of glass, with
a 5/16 inch wall. The jars are pressed with the supporting ribs for
the elements an integral part from a mass of molten glass. A heavy
flange is pressed around the upper edge to strengthen the jar.

Top Construction. A sealed-in cover is used similar to that used in
starting and lighting batteries. The opening around the post hole is
sealed with compound.

Plates. Pasted plates are used. The positives are 1/4 inch thick, and
the negatives 3/16 inch. Posts are 13/16 inch in diameter.

Separators. A combination of wood and perforated rubber sheets is used.

Opening and Setting-Up Westinghouse Farm Lighting Batteries

  [Fig. 327 Westinghouse farm lighting cell]

It is preferable that the temperature never exceed 100 deg. Fahrenheit
nor fall below 10 deg. in the place where the battery is set up. If
the temperature is liable to drop below 10 degrees the battery should
be kept in a fully charged condition.

1. Remove all excelsior and the other packing material from the top of
the cells. Take cells out carefully and set on the floor. Do not drop
or handle roughly. Be sure to remove the lead top connectors from each

2. Cells should be placed 1/4 inch apart. Also, cells should be placed
alternately so that positive post of one cell is adjacent to negative
post of the next cell. Positive post has "V" shape shoulder and the
negative post has a square shoulder.

3. Grease all posts, straps and nuts with vaseline.

4. Connect positive posts of each cell to negative post of adjacent
cell, using top connectors furnished. Top connectors are made so as to
fit when connection is made between positive post of one cell and
negative post of next cell. Use long connector between end cells of
upper and lower shelves.

5. With all connections between cells in position, join the remaining
positive post with a connection marked "Positive" leading from the
electric generator. Do likewise with the remaining negative post.

6. If liquid level in any cell is 1 inch or more below the "Liquid
Line" on side of glass jar, some liquid has been spilled and must be
replaced. This should be done by an experienced person.

7. Immediately after installation operate electric generator and
charge battery until gas bubbles rise freely through the liquid in all
cells. A reading with the hydrometer syringe which is furnished with
the battery should be taken, When the hydrometer float reads between
1.240 and 1.250, the battery is fully charged.

8. The time required to complete the charging operation mentioned
above may vary from one to several hours, depending upon the length of
time the battery has been in transit. During the charge the
temperature of the cells should not be permitted to rise above 110
deg. Fahrenheit. If this condition occurs discontinue the charge or
decrease the charge rate until cells have cooled off.

9. When charge is complete replace vent plugs.

The Relation Between Various Sizes of Westinghouse Farm Light
Batteries and Work to be Done

The size of the battery furnished with complete farm lighting units
vary greatly. Sometimes the battery size is varied with the size of
the engine and generator, while again the same size of battery may be
used for several sizes of engines and generators. In making
replacements, while it is always necessary to retain the same number
of cells, it is not necessary to retain the same size of cells.

Usually increasing the cell size increases the convenience to the
owner and prolongs the life of the battery to an amount which warrants
the higher cost.

With a larger battery, danger of injury through overcharging is
lessened, the load on the battery is more easily carried and the
engine and generator operate less frequently.

In order to give an idea of various battery capacities, below is a
table showing the number of 32 volt, 25-watt lamps which may be
lighted for various lengths of time from sixteen cells. The number of
hours shows the length of time that the lamps will operate.

Table A

Type     3 Hours     5 Hours     8 Hours
----     -------     -------     -------
G-7      22 Lamps    14 Lamps    10 Lamps
G-9      28 Lamps    19 Lamps    13 Lamps
G-11     32 Lamps    24 Lamps    15 Lamps
G-13     41 Lamps    29 Lamps    19 Lamps
G-15     47 Lamps    33 Lamps    22 Lamps
G-17     54 Lamps    38 Lamps    25 Lamps

Note:--Based on 32-Volt 25-Watt Lamps.

For example--The table shows opposite G-7 that, with the battery
fully charged, twenty-two lamps may be lighted for three hours,
fourteen lamps for five hours and ten lamps for eight hours, by a
sixteen cell G-7 battery, without operating the engine and generator.

Motors for operating various household and farm appliances are usually
rated either in horsepower or watts. The following table will give a
comparison between horse-power and watts as well as the number of
25-watt lamps to which these different sizes of motors and appliances

Table B

H.P. of Motor     No. of Watts     Corresponding No. of
                                   25-Watt Lamps
-------------     ------------     --------------------
1/8                  93               4
1/4                 185               7
1/2                 373              15
3/4                 559              22
1 H.P.              746              30

From table B it will be seen, for example, that a one horsepower motor
draws from the battery 373 watts or the same power as do fifteen
25-watt lamps. Then referring to table A, it will be found that a G-11
battery could operate 15 lamps or this motor alone for 8 hours.

Due to the fact that a motor or electric appliance may become
overloaded and therefore actually use many more watts than the name
plate indicates, it is not advisable to operate any motor of over 1/4
H. P. or even an appliance of over 186 watts on the G-13 or smaller
sizes unless the engine and generator are running.

It is safe, however, to operate motors or other appliances up to 375
watts on the G-15 or G-17 batteries without operating the engine and


  [Fig. 328 Willard Farm Lighting Cell]

The Willard Storage Battery Co. manufactures farm lighting batteries
which use sealed glass jars, or sealed rubber jars. Those using the
sealed glass jars include types PH and PA. The sealed rubber jar
batteries include types EM, EEW, IPR, SMW, and SEW. Both types of
batteries are shipped fully charged and filled with electrolyte, and
also dry, without electrolyte. The following instructions cover the
installation and preparation for service of these batteries.

Glass Jar Batteries. Fully Charged and Filled With Electrolyte

Each sixteen cell set of batteries is packed in two shipping crates.

One crate, which is stenciled "No. 1" contains:

* 8 Cells.
* 18 Bolt Connectors.
* 1 Hydrometer Syringe.
* 1 Instruction Book.

The other crate which is stenciled "No. 2" contains: 8 Cells

(NOTE:--If the batteries are re-shipped by the manufacturer or
distributor, care must be exercised to see that they are sent out in


Remove the boards from the tops of the shipping crates and the
excelsior which is above the cells.

To straighten the long top connector, grasp the strap firmly with the
left hand close to the pillar post and raise the outer end of the
strap until it is in an upright position. Do not make a short bend
near the pillar post. Lift the cells from the case by grasping the
glass jars. Do not attempt to lift them by means of the top connectors.

Clean the outside of the cells by wiping with a damp cloth.

Inspection of Cells.

Inspect each cell to see if the level of the electrolyte is at the
proper height. This is indicated on the jar by a line marked LIQUID

If the electrolyte is simply a little low and there is no evidence of
any having been spilled (examine packing material for discoloration)
add distilled or clean rain water to bring the level to the proper

If the liquid does not cover the plates and the packing material is
discolored, it indicates that some or all of the electrolyte has been
lost from the cell either on account of a cracked jar or overturning
of the battery.

If only a small quantity of electrolyte is lost through spilling, the
cell should be filled to the proper height with electrolyte of the
same specific gravity as in the other cells. This cell should then be
charged until the gravity has ceased rising. If all the electrolyte is
lost write to the Willard Storage Battery Co., Cleveland, Ohio, for

Connecting the Cells

Each cell of the type PH battery is a complete unit, sealed in a glass
jar. The cells are to be placed side by side on the battery rack so
that the positive terminal of one cell (long connecting strap) can be
connected to the negative terminal (short strap) of the adjacent cell.

Join the positive terminal of one cell to the negative terminal of the
adjacent cell and continue this procedure until all the cells are
connected together. This will leave one positive and one negative
terminal of the battery to be connected respectively to the positive
and negative wires from the switchboard. The bend in the top connector
should be made about one inch above the pillar post to eliminate the
danger of breakage at the post.

In tightening the bolts do not use excessive force, as there is
liability of stripping the threads.

Give the battery a freshening charge before it is put in service. Type
PH cells have a gravity of 1.250 when fully charged, and 1.185 when

Willard Glass Jar Batteries Shipped "Knock-Down."

Each sixteen cell set of Batteries consists of:

  16 Glass Jars.
  16 Positive Groups.
  16 Negative Groups.
  16 Covers.
  16 Vent Plugs.
  32 Lead Collars.
  32 Lead Keys.
  32 Soft Rubber Washers.
  32 Hard Rubber Rods.
  64 Hard Rubber Nuts.
  18 Bolt Connectors.
  Wood Insulators (the quantity depends upon the size of the cells).
  Sealing Compound.
  Instruction Books.

Electrolyte is not supplied with batteries shipped in a knockdown

Examine all packing material carefully and check the parts with the
above list.

Cleaning the Glass Jars

Wash the glass jars and wipe them dry.

Preparing the Covers

Wash the covers and scrub around the under edge to remove all dust.
After they are thoroughly dry place them upside down on a bench.

Melt the sealing compound and pour it around the outer edge to make a
fillet in the groove.

Assembling the Element and Separators

Place the plates of a positive group between the plates of a negative
group and lay the element thus formed on its edge, as shown in Fig.

  [Fig. 329 Inserting Separators, Willard farm lighting cell]

  [Fig. 330 and Fig. 331 Fastening cover to posts, Willard farm
   lighting cell]

Next insert a wood separator between each of the positive and negative

Next insert the hard rubber rods through the holes in the lugs of the
end negative plates, and screw on the nuts. Do not screw the nuts so
tight as to make the plates bulge out at the center. The rod should
project the same amount on each side of the element.

Place the element in a vertical position.

The cover can now be placed over the posts. Slip a rubber washer and a
lead collar over each post. The two key holes in the lead collar are
unequal in size. The collar must be placed over the post so that the
end which measures 3/16 inch from the bottom of the holes to the end
of the collar will be next to the rubber washer. Dip the lead key in
water and then put it through the holes, having the straight edge of
the key on the bottom side. This operation can easily be done by using
a pair of tongs (see Figs. 330 and 331) to compress the washer. After
the keys are driven tight they can be cut off with a pair of end
cutters and then smoothed with a file.

Sealing Element Assembly in Jar

  [Fig. 332 Sealing Element Assembly, Willard farm lighting cell]

Turn the element upside down and place over a block of wood so that
the weight is supported by the cover. (See Fig. 332.)

Heat the sealing compound by means of a flame (a blow torch will
answer the purpose), and place the jar over the element, as shown in
Fig. 331. The jar should be firmly pressed down into the compound.
With a hot putty knife, clean off any compound which has oozed out of
the joint. The assembled cell can now be turned to an upright position.

In case it is necessary to remove a cover, heat a wide putty knife and
run it around the edge between the cover and the glass jar. This will
soften the compound so that the cover can be pried off.

If it is necessary to remove the cover from the posts, the keys must
be driven out by pounding on the small end, as the keys are
tapered-and the holes in the lead collars are unequal in size.

Filling with Electrolyte

Fill the cells with 1.260 specific gravity electrolyte at 70° F. to
the LIQUID LINE marked on the glass jars. (About I inch above the top
edge of separators.) Allow the cells to stand 12 hours, and if the
level of the electrolyte has lowered, add sufficient electrolyte to
bring it to the proper height.

Initial Charge

Connect the positive terminal (long strap) of one cell to the negative
terminal (short strap) of the adjacent cell and continue this
procedure until all the cells are connected together. This will leave
one positive and one negative terminal to be connected respectively to
the positive and negative wires from the charging source.

The bends in the top terminal connectors should be made about one inch
above the pillar posts to eliminate the danger of breakage at the post.

In tightening the bolts, do not use excessive force, as there is
liability of stripping the threads.

After the cells have stood for 12 hours with electrolyte in the jars,
they should be put on charge at the following rates:

Type    Amperes
----    -------
PH-7      4
PH-9      5
PH-11     6-1/4
PH-13     7-1/2
PH-15     9
PH-17     10

They should be left on charge continuously until the specific gravity
of the electrolyte reaches a maximum and remains constant for six
hours. At this point, each cell should be gassing freely and the
voltage should read about 2.45 volts per cell, with the above current

Under normal conditions it will require approximately 80 hours to
complete the initial charge. The final gravity will be approximately
1.250. If the gravity is above this value, remove a little electrolyte
and add the same amount of distilled water.

If the gravity is too low, remove a little of the electrolyte and add
the same amount of 1.400 specific gravity acid and leave on charge as

After either water or acid has been added, charge the cells three
hours longer in order to thoroughly mix the solution, and if at the
end of that time the gravity is between 1.245 and 1.255, the cells are
ready for service.

It is very important that the initial charge be continued until the
specific gravity reaches a maximum value, regardless of the length of
time required. The battery must not be discharged until the initial
charge has been completed.

If it is impossible to charge the battery continuously, the charge can
be stopped over night, but must be resumed the next day.

It is preferable to charge the battery at the ampere rate given above,
but if this cannot be done, the temperature must be carefully watched
so that it does not exceed 110° F.

Wilard Rubber Jar Batteries Shipped Completely Charged and Filled with

Immediately upon receipt of battery, remove the soft rubber nipples
and unscrew the vent plugs.

The soft rubber nipples are to be discarded, as they are used only for
protection during shipment. Inspect each cell to see whether the
electrolyte is at the proper height.

If the electrolyte is simply a little low and there is no evidence of
any having been spilled (examine packing material for discoloration),
add distilled water to bring the level to the proper height.

If electrolyte does not cover the plates and the packing material is
discolored, it indicates that some or all of the electrolyte has been
lost from the cell, either on account of cracked jar or overturning of
the battery.

If only a small quantity of electrolyte is lost through spilling, the
cell should be filled to the proper height with electrolyte of the
same specific gravity as in the other cells. This cell should then be
charged until the gravity has ceased rising, If all the electrolyte is
lost, write to the Willard Storage Battery Co., Cleveland, Ohio, for

Place batteries on rack and connect the positive terminal of one crate
to the negative terminal of the next crate, using the jumpers

The main battery wires from the switch board should be soldered to the
pigtail terminals, which can then be bolted to the battery terminals.
Be sure to have the positive and negative battery terminals connected
respectively to the positive and negative generator terminals of

Before using the battery, it should be given a freshening charge at
the rate given on page 510.

The specific gravity of the rubber jar batteries is 1.285-1.300 when
fully charged, and 1.160 when discharged.

Willard Rubber Jar Batteries Shipped Dry (Export Batteries)

Batteries which have been prepared for export must be given the
following treatment:

Upon receipt of battery by customer, the special soft rubber nipples,
used on the batteries for shipping purposes only, should be removed
and discarded.

Types SMW and SEW batteries should at once be filled to bottom of vent
hole with 1.285 specific gravity electrolyte at 70° F.

In mixing electrolyte, the acid should be poured into the water and
allowed to cool below 90° F. before being put into the cells. If
electrolyte is shipped with the battery, it is of the proper gravity
to put into the cells.

Immediately after the batteries are filled with electrolyte, they must
be placed on charge at one half the normal charging rate given on page
510, and should be left on charge continuously until the specific
gravity of the electrolyte stops rising. At this point, each cell
should be gassing freely and the voltage should read at least 2.40
volts per cell with one-half the normal charging current flowing.

If during the charge the temperature of the electrolyte in any one
cell exceeds 105° F., the current must be reduced until the
temperature is below 90° F. This will necessitate a longer time to
complete the charge, but must be strictly adhered to.

Under normal conditions it will require approximately 80 hours to
complete the initial charge. The final gravity of the types SMW and
SEW will be approximately 1.285. If the gravity is above this value,
remove a little electrolyte and add same amount of distilled water
while the battery is left charging (in order to thoroughly mix the
solution), and after three hours, if the electrolyte is within the
limits, the cell is ready for service. If the specific gravity is
below these values, remove a little electrolyte and add same amount of
1.400 specific gravity electrolyte. Leave on charge as before. The
acid should be poured into the water and allowed to cool below 90° P.
before being used. The batteries are then ready for service.

Installing Counter Electromotive Force Cells

Counter EMF cells, if used with a battery, are installed in the same
manner as regular cells. They are connected positive to negative, the
same as regular cells, but the negative terminal of the CEMF group is
to be connected to the negative terminal of the regular cell group.
The positive terminal of the counter CEMF group is then to be
connected to the switchboard.

  [Image: Table of charge and discharge rates for different types
   of batteries, Willard farm lighting batteries]


Definitions and Descriptions of
Terms and Parts

Acid. As used in this book refers to sulphuric acid (H2SO4), the
active component of the electrolyte, or a mixture of sulphuric acid
and water.

Active Material. The active portion of the battery plates; peroxide of
lead on the positives and spongy metallic lead on the negatives.

Alloy. As used in battery practice, a homogeneous combination of lead
and antimony.

Alternating Current. Electric current which does not flow in one
direction only, like direct current, but rapidly reverses its
direction or "alternates" in polarity so that it will not charge a

Ampere. The unit of measure of the rate of flow of electric current.

Ampere Hour. The product resulting from multiplication of amperes
flowing by time of flow in hours, e.g., a battery supplying 10 amperes
for 8 hours gives 80 ampere hours. See note under "Volt?" for more
complete explanation of current flow.

Battery. Two or more electrical cells, electrically connected so that
combination furnishes current as a unit.

Battery Terminals. Devices attached to the positive post of one end
cell and the negative of the other, by means of which the battery is
connected to the car circuit.

Bridge (or Rib). Wedge-shaped vertical projection from bottom of
rubber jar on which plates rest and by which they are supported.

Buckling. Warping or bending of the battery plates.

Burning. A term used to describe the operation of joining two pieces
of lead by melting them at practically the same instant so they may
run together as one continuous piece. Usually done with mixture of
oxygen and hydrogen or acetylene gases, hydrogen and compressed air,
or oxygen and illuminating gas.

Burning Strip. A convenient form of lead, in strips, for filling up
the joint in making burned connections.

Cadmium. A metal used in about the shape of a pencil for obtaining
voltage of positive or negative plates. It is dipped in the
electrolyte but not allowed to come in contact with plates.

Capacity. The number of ampere hours a battery can supply at a given
rate of current flow after being fully charged, e.g., a battery may be
capable of supplying 10 amperes of current for 8 hours before it is
exhausted. Its capacity is 80 ampere hours at the 8 hours rate of
current flow. It is necessary to state the rate of flow, since same
battery if discharged at 20 amperes would not last for 4 hours but for
a shorter period, say 3 hours. Hence, its capacity at the 3 hour rate
would be 3x2O=60 ampere hours.

Case. The containing box which holds the battery cells.

Cell. The battery unit, consisting of an element complete with
electrolyte, in its jar with cover.

Charge. Passing direct current through a battery in the direction
opposite to that of discharge, in order to put back the energy used on

Charge Rate. The proper rate of current to use in charging a battery
from an outside source. It is expressed in amperes and varies for
different sized cells.

Corrosion. The attack of metal parts by acid from the electrolyte; it
is the result of lack of cleanliness.

Cover. The rubber cover which closes each individual cell; it is
flanged for sealing compound to insure an effective seal.

Cycle. One charge and discharge.

Density. Specific gravity.

Developing. The first cycle or cycles of a new or rebuilt battery to
bring about proper electrochemical conditions to give rated capacity.

Diffusion. Pertaining to movement of acid within the pores of plates.
(See Equalization.)

Discharge. The flow of current from a battery through a circuit,
opposite of "charge."

Dry. Term frequently applied to cell containing insufficient
electrolyte. Also applied to certain conditions of shipment of

Electrolyte. The conducting fluid of electro-chemical devices; for
lead-acid storage batteries it consists of about two parts of water to
one of chemically pure sulphuric acid, by weight.

Element. Positive group, negative group and separators.

Equalization. The result of circulation and diffusion within the cell
which accompanies charge and discharge. Difference in capacity at
various rates is caused by the time required for this feature.

Equalizing. Term used to describe the making uniform of varying
specific gravities in different cells of the same battery, by adding
or removing water or electrolyte.

Evaporation. Loss of water from electrolyte from heat or charging.

Filling Plug. The plug which fits in and closes the orifice of the
filling tube in the cell cover.

Finishing Rate. The current in amperes at which a battery may be
charged for twenty-four hours or more. Also the charging rate used
near the end of a charge when cells begin to gas.

Flooding. Overflowing through the filling tube.

Forming. Electro-chemical process of making pasted grid or other
plate, types into storage battery plates. (Often confused with

Foreign Material. Objectionable substances.

Freshening Charge. A charge given to a battery which has been standing
idle, to keep it fully charged.

Gassing. The giving off of oxygen gas at positive plates and hydrogen
at negatives, which begins when charge is something more than half
completed-depending on the rate.

Generator System. An equipment including a generator for automatically
recharging the battery, in contradistinction to a straight storage
system where the battery has to be removed to be recharged.

Gravity. A contraction of the term "specific gravity," which means the
density compared to water as a standard.

Grid. The metal framework of a plate, supporting the active material
and provided with a lug for conducting the current and for attachment
to the strap.

Group. A set of plates, either positive or negative, joined to a
strap. Groups do not include separators.

Hold-Down. Device for keeping separators from floating or working up.

Hold-Down Clips. Brackets for the attachment of bolts for holding the
battery securely in position on the car.

Hydrogen Flame. A very hot and clean flame of hydrogen gas and oxygen,
acetylene, or compressed air used for making burned connections.

Hydrogen Generator. An apparatus for generating hydrogen gas for lead

Hydrometer. An instrument for measuring the specific gravity of the

Hydrometer Syringe. A glass barrel enclosing a hydrometer and provided
with a rubber bulb for drawing up electrolyte.

Jar. The hard rubber container holding the element and electrolyte.

Lead Burning. Making a joint by melting together the metal of the
parts to be joined.

Lug. The extension from the top frame of each plate, connecting the
plate to the strap.

Maximum Gravity. The highest specific gravity which the electrolyte
will reach by continued charging, indicating that no acid remains in
the plates.

Mud. (See Sediment.)

Negative. The terminal of a source of electrical energy as a cell,
battery or generator through which current returns to complete
circuit. Generally marked "Neg." or "-".

Ohm. The unit of electrical resistance. The smaller the wire conductor
the greater is the resistance. Six hundred and sixty-five feet of No.
14 wire (size used in house lighting circuit) offers I ohm resistance
to current flow.

Oil of Vitriol. Commercial name for concentrated sulphuric acid (1.835
specific gravity). This is never used in a battery and would quickly
ruin it.

Over-Discharge. The carrying of discharge beyond proper cell voltage;
shortens life if carried far enough and done frequently.

Paste. The mixture of lead oxide or spongy lead and other substances
which is put into grids.

Plate. The combination of grid and paste properly "formed." Positive$
are reddish brown and negatives slate gray.

Polarity. An electrical condition. The positive terminal (or pole) of
a cell or battery or electrical circuit is said to have positive
polarity; the negative, negative polarity.

Positive. The terminal of a source of electrical energy as a cell,
battery or generator from which the current flows. Generally marked
"Pos." or "+".

Post. The portion of the strap extending through the cell cover, by
means of which connection is made to the adjoining cell or to the car

Potential Difference. Abbreviated P. D. Found on test curves.
Synonymous with voltage.

Rate. Number of amperes for charge or discharge. Also used to express
time for either.

Rectifier. Apparatus for converting alternating current into direct

Resistance. Material (usually lamps or wire) of low conductivity
inserted in a circuit to retard the flow of current. By varying the
resistance, the amount of current can be regulated. Also the property
of an electrical circuit whereby the flow of current is impeded.
Resistance is measured in ohms. Analogous to the impediment offered by
wall of a pipe to flow of water therein.

Rheostat. An electrical appliance used to raise or lower the
resistance of a circuit and correspondingly to decrease or increase
the current flowing.

Rib. (See Bridge.)

Ribbed. (See Separator.)

Reversal. Reversal of polarity of cell or battery, due to excessive
discharge, or charging in the wrong direction.

Rubber Sheets. Thin, perforated hard rubber sheets used in combination
with the wood separators in some types of batteries. They are placed
between the grooved side of the wood separators and the positive plate.

Sealing. Making tight joints between jar and cover; usually with a
black, thick, acid-proof compound.

Sediment. Loosened or worn out particles of active material fallen to
the bottom of cells; frequently called "mud."

Sediment Space. That part of jar between bottom and top of bridge.

Separator. An insulator between plates of opposite polarity; usually
of wood, rubber or combination of both. Separators are generally
corrugated or ribbed to insure proper distance between plates and to
avoid too great displacement of electrolyte.

Short Circuit. A metallic connection between the positive and negative
plates within a cell. The plates may be in actual contact or material
may lodge and bridge across. If the separators are in good condition,
a short circuit is unlikely to occur.

Spacers. Wood strips used in some types to separate the cells in the
case, and divided to provide a space for the tie bolts.

Specific Gravity. The density of the electrolyte compared to water as
a standard. It indicates the strength and is measured by the

Spray. Fine particles of electrolyte carried up from the surface by
gas bubbles. (See Gassing.)

Starting Rate. A specified current in amperes at which a discharged
battery may be charged at the beginning of a charge. The starting rate
is reduced to the finishing rate when the cells begin to gas. It is
also reduced at any time during the charge if the temperature of the
electrolyte rises to or above 110 deg. Fahrenheit.

Starvation. The result of giving insufficient charge in relation to
the amount of discharge, resulting in poor service and injury to the

Strap. The leaden casting to which the plates of a group are joined.

Sulphate. Common term for lead sulphate. (PbSO4.)

Sulphated. Term used to describe cells in an under-charged condition,
from either over-discharging without corresponding long charges or
from standing idle some time and being self discharged.

Sulphate Reading. A peculiarity of cell voltage when plates are
considerably sulphated, where charging voltage shows abnormally high
figures before dropping gradually to normal charging voltage.

Terminal. Part to which outside wires are connected.

Vent, Vent Plug or Vent-Cap. Hard or soft rubber part inserted in
cover to retain atmospheric pressure within the cell, while preventing
loss of electrolyte from spray. It allows gases formed in the cell to
escape, prevents electrolyte from spilling, and keeps dirt out of the

Volt. The commercial unit of pressure in an electric circuit. Voltage
is measured by a voltmeter. Analogous to pressure or head of water
flow through pipes. NOTE.--Just as increase of pressure causes more
volume of water to flow through a given pipe so increase of voltage
(by putting more cells in circuit) will cause more amperes of current
to flow in same circuit. Decreasing size of pipes is increasing
resistance and decreases flow of water, so also introduction of
resistance in an electrical circuit decreases current flow with a
given voltage or pressure.

Wall. Jar sides and ends.

Washing. Removal of sediment from cells after taking out elements;
usually accompanied by rinsing of groups, replacement of wood
separators and renewal of electrolyte.

Watt. The commercial unit of electrical power, and is the product of
voltage of circuit by amperes flowing. One ampere flowing under
pressure of one volt represents one watt of power.

Watt Hour. The unit of electrical work. It is the product of power
expended by time of expenditure, e.g., 10 amperes flowing under 32
volts pressure for 8 hours gives 2560 watt hours.




Acetic acid from improperly treated separators 77
Acetylene and Compressed Air Lead-burning Outfit147
Acid Carboys 184
Acid. Handling and mixing 222
Acid. How lost while battery is on car 57
Acid. How to draw, from carboys 184
Acid should never be added to battery on car 57
Acid used instead of water 57
Active materials. Composition of 13
Active materials. Effect of quantity, porosity, and arrangement of, on
capacity 42
Active materials. Resistance of 49
Age codes 242
Age of battery. Determining 242
Age of battery. Effect of, on capacity 47
Alcohol torch lead-burning outfit 148
Applying pastes to grids 11
Arc lead-burning outfit 148
Audion bulb for radio receiving sets 253


Battery box should be kept clean and dry 51
Battery carrier 173
Battery case (see Case).
Battery steamer 158
Battery truck 173
Battery turntable 170
Bench charge 198 to 210
Bench charge. Arrangement of batteries for 200
Bench charge. Charging rates for 201
Bench charge. Conditions preventing batteries from charging 206
Bench charge. Conditions preventing gravity from rising 207
Bench charge. If battery becomes too hot 205
Bench charge. If battery will not hold a charge 208
Bench charge. If battery will not take half a charge 205
Bench charge. If current cannot be passed through battery 206
Bench charge. If electrolyte has a milky appearance 206
Bench charge. If gravity rises above 1.300 205
Bench charge. If gravity rises long before voltage does 205
Bench charge. If new battery will not charge 205
Bench charge. If one cell will not charge 205
Bench charge. If vinegar-like odor is detected 205
Bench charge. Leave vent-plugs in when charging 209
Bench charge. Level of electrolyte at end of 203
Bench charge. Painting case after 203
Bench charge. Specific gravity at end of 203
Bench charge. Specific gravity will not rise to 1.280 204
Bench charge. Suggestions for 209
Bench charge. Temperatures of batteries during 202
Bench charge. Time required for 203
Bench charge. Troubles arising during 204
Bench charge. Voltage at end of 203
Bench charge. When necessary 198
Bins for stock parts 158
Book-keeping records 302 (Omitted)
"Bone-dry" batteries. Putting into service 229
Boxes for battery parts 183
Buckling 72
Buckling. Caused by charging at high rates 73
Buckling. Caused by continued operation in discharged condition 73
Buckling. Caused by defective grid alloy 73
Buckling. Caused by non-uniform current distribution 73
Buckling. Caused by overdischarge 73
Buckling does not necessarily cause trouble 73
Burning. (See Lead-Burning.)
Burning-lead mould 164
Burning rack 162
Business methods 299 to 312 (Omitted)


Cadmium. What it is 176
Cadmium leads. Connection of, to voltmeter 179
Cadmium readings affected by improperly treated separators 181
Cadmium readings. Conditions necessary to obtain good negative-cadmium
readings 210
Cadmium readings do not indicate capacity of a cell 175
Cadmium readings on short-circuited cells 180
Cadmium readings. Troubles shown by, on charge 206
Cadmium readings. When they should be taken 176
Cadmium test 174
Cadmium test. How made 175
Cadmium test on charging battery 181
Cadmium test on discharging battery 180
Cadmium test set. What it consists of 177
Cadmium test voltmeter 178
Calling for repair batteries 314
Capacity. Effect of age of battery on 47 and 89
Capacity. Effect of plate surface area on 42
Capacity. Effect of clogged separators on 88
Capacity. Effect of incorrect proportions of acid and acid in
electrolyte on 88
Capacity. Effect of low level of electrolyte on 88
Capacity. Effect of operating conditions on 44
Capacity. Effect of quantity and strength of electrolyte on 42
Capacity. Effect of quantity, arrangement, and porosity of active
materials on 42
Capacity. Effect of rate of discharge on 44
Capacity. Effect of reversal of plates on 89
Capacity. Effect of shedding on 88
Capacity. Effect of specific gravity on 43
Capacity. Effect of temperature on 46
Carbon-arc lead-burning outfit 148
Carboys 184
Care of battery on the car 51 to 68
Care of battery when not in service 67
Carrier for batteries 173
Case. Cleaning and painting, after repairs 372
Case manufacture 22
Case. Painting, after bench charge 203
Case. Repairing 360
Case. Troubles indicated by rotted 319
Case troubles 83
Cases. Equipment for work on 98 and 170
Casting plate grids 9
Cell connector mould 168
Cell connectors. Burning-on 213
Cell connectors. Equipment for work on 98
Cell connectors. How to remove 329
Changing pastes into active materials 12
Charge. (See Bench Charge.)
Charge. Changes at negative plates during 30 and 39
Charge. Changes at positive plates during 30 and 40
Charge. Changes in acid density during 39
Charge. Changes in voltage during 38
Charge. Loss of, in an idle battery 89
Charge. Preliminary, in rebuilding batteries 349
Charge. Trickle 239
Charging bench133 to 139
Charging bench. Arrangement of batteries on 200
Charging bench. Temperature of batteries on 202
Charging bench. Working drawings of 134 to 139
Charging circuits. Drawings of 105
Charging connections. Making temporary 220
Charging. Constant potential 111
Charging equipment for farm lighting batteries 439
Charging equipment for starting batteries 100
Charging farm lighting batteries 455
Charging. Lamp-banks for 101
Charging. Motor-generators for 106
Charging rate. Adjusting 287
Charging rate. Checking 283
Charging rate. Governed by gassing 112 and 202
Charging rate. How and when to adjust 289
Charging rates for bench charge 112 and 201
Charging rates for new Exide batteries 226
Charging rates for new Philadelphia batteries 228
Charging rates for new Prest-O-Lite batteries 234
Charging rates on the car 283
Charging rebuilt batteries 373
Charging. Rheostats for 101
Chemical actions and electricity. Relations between 31
Chemical changes at the negatives during charge 30
Chemical changes at the positives during charge 30
Chemical changes at the negatives during discharge 29
Chemical changes at the positives during discharge 29
Chemical changes in the battery 27 to 31
Composition of jars 16
Composition of plate grids 9
Compound. Scraping, from covers and jars 334
Compressed air and hydrogen lead-burning outfit 147
Compressed air and illuminating gas lead-burning outfit 149
Condenser for making distilled water 160
Connections. Making temporary, for charging 220
Connectors. (See Cell Connectors.)
Connector troubles 84
Constant-potential charging 111
Construction of plate grids 10
Convenient method of adding water 56
Corroded grids 77
Corroded grids. Caused by age 78
Corroded grids. Caused by high temperatures 78
Corroded grids. Caused by impurities 78
Corrosion 321
Covers. Eveready 17
Covers. Exide 19 and 21
Covers. Functions of 16
Covers. Gould 17
Covers. How to remove 331
Covers. Philadelphia diamond grid 16
Covers. Prest-O-Lite 18 and 19
Covers. Putting on the 365
Covers. Sealing 366
Covers. Single and double 16
Covers. Steaming 332
Covers. U.S.L. 18 and 20
Covers. Vesta 18
Covers. Westinghouse 417
Covers. Willard 19
Credit. Use and abuse of 301 (Omitted)
Cutout. Checking action of 282?
Cycling discharge tests 269


Dead cells. Causes of 87
Delco-Light batteries 466
Delco-Light batteries. Ampere-hour meter for 467 and 471
Delco-Light batteries. Burning-on new plates of 492
Delco-Light batteries. Burning-on new straps for 488
Delco-Light batteries. Care of cells of, in stock 493
Delco-Light batteries. Charging, after reassembling 481
Delco-Light batteries. Charging outside negatives of 484
Delco-Light batteries. Clearing high resistance shorts in 484
Delco-Light batteries. Clearing lug shorts in 484
Delco-Light batteries. Dis-assembling 474
Delco-Light batteries. Gauges and instruments for testing 466
Delco-Light batteries. General complaints from users of 495
Delco-Light batteries. Hydrometers for 468
Delco-Light batteries. Inspection trips 470
Delco-Light batteries. Pressing negatives of 485
Delco-Light batteries. Putting repaired cells into service 484
Delco-Light batteries. Re-assembling 477
Delco-Light batteries. Removing impurities from 483
Delco-Light batteries. Repairing broken posts of 487
Delco-Light batteries. Repairing lead parts of 486
Delco-Light batteries. Salvaging replaced cells of 486
Delco-Light batteries. Taking, out of commission 494
Delco-Light batteries. Treating broken cells of 482
Delco-Light batteries. Treating spilled cells of 482
Delco-Light batteries. Treating reversed cells of 483
Delco-Light batteries. Use of auxiliary straps with 492
Delco-Light batteries. When and how to charge 468
Discharge apparatus 270
Discharge. Changes at negative plates during 37
Discharge. Changes at positive plates during 37
Discharge. Changes in acid density during 35
Discharge. Chemical actions at negative plates during 29
Discharge. Chemical actions at positive plates during 29
Discharge. Effects of rates of, on capacity 44
Discharge. Voltage changes during 32
Discharge tests. Cycling 269
Discharge tests. Fifteen seconds 266
Discharge tests. Lighting ability 267
Discharge tests. Starting ability 267
Distilled water. Condenser for making 160
Dope electrolytes 59 and 199
Double covers. Sealing 366
Dry shipment of batteries 24
Dry storage 240
Dry storage batteries 265


Earthenware jars 184
Electrical system. Normal course of operation of 277
Electrical system. Testing the 276
Electrical system. Tests on, to be made by the repairman 279
Electrical system. Troubles in the 284
Electricity and chemical actions. Relation between 31
Electrolyte. Adjusting the 373
Electrolyte below tops of plates. Causes and results of 319 and 323
Electrolyte. Causes of milky appearance of 206
Electrolyte. Composition of 199 and 222
Electrolyte. Correct height of, above plates 55
Electrolyte. Effect of circulation of, on capacity 44
Electrolyte. Effect of low 67
Electrolyte. Effect of quantity and strength of, on capacity 42
Electrolyte. Freezing points of 67
Electrolyte. Leaking of, at top of cells 324
Electrolyte. Level of, at end of bench charge 203
Electrolyte. Resistance of 43 and 48
Electrolyte troubles. High gravity 85
Electrolyte troubles. High level 85
Electrolyte troubles. Low gravity 85
Electrolyte troubles. Low level 85
Electrolyte troubles. Milky appearance 85
Element. Tightening loose 363
Elements. Re-assembling 361
Equipment for discharge tests 270
Equipment for general work 98
Equipment for general work on connectors and terminals 98
Equipment for handling sealing compound 149
Equipment for lead-burning 97
Equipment for work on cases 98 and 170
Equipment needed in opening batteries 97
Equipment which is absolutely necessary 96
Eveready batteries. Claimed to be non-sulphating 401
Eveready batteries. Description of parts 404
Eveready batteries. Rebuilding 405
Examining and testing incoming batteries 317
Exide farm lighting batteries 466 to 498
Exide radio batteries 257
Exide starting batteries. Age code for 243 (Age code chart omitted)
Exide starting batteries. Burning-on cell connectors of 382
Exide starting batteries. Capacities of 381 (Chart omitted)
Exide starting batteries. Charging, after repairing 382
Exide starting batteries. Methods of holding jars of, in case 377
Exide starting batteries. Opening of 377
Exide starting batteries. Putting cells of, in case 382
Exide starting batteries. Putting jars of, in case 382
Exide starting batteries. Putting new, into service 225
Exide starting batteries. Re-assembling plates of 379
Exide starting batteries. Sealing single covers of 380
Exide starting batteries. Type numbers of 377
Exide starting batteries. Types of 375
Exide starting batteries. Work on plates, separators, jars, and cases
of 379


Farm lighting batteries 435 to 510
Farm lighting batteries. Care of, in operation 453
Farm lighting batteries. Care of plant of, in operation 450
Farm lighting batteries. Charging 453? or (455)
Farm lighting batteries. Charging equipment for 439
Farm lighting batteries. Determining condition of cells of 453
Farm lighting batteries. Difference between, and starting batteries 435
Farm lighting batteries. Discharge rules for 457
Farm lighting batteries. Exide 466
Farm lighting batteries. Initial charge of 448
Farm lighting batteries. Installation of plant 445
Farm lighting batteries. Instructing users of 449
Farm lighting batteries. Jars used in 436
Farm lighting batteries. Loads carried by 443 (Charts omitted)
Farm lighting batteries. Location of plant 444
Farm lighting batteries. Overcharge of 455
Farm lighting batteries. Power consumed by appliances connected to 442
Farm lighting batteries. Prest-O-Lite 460
Farm lighting batteries. Selection of plant 440
Farm lighting batteries. Separators for 438
Farm lighting batteries. Size of plant required 442
Farm lighting batteries. Specific gravity of electrolyte of 438
Farm lighting batteries. Troubles with 458
Farm lighting batteries. When to charge 455
Farm lighting batteries. Wiring of plant for 444
Filling and testing service 291
Flames for lead-burning 211
Floor. Care of 188
Floor grating for shop 188
Floor of shop 186
Forming plates 11
Freezing points of electrolyte 67


Gassing causes shedding 74
Gassing. Charging rate governed by 112 and 202
Gassing. Definition of 31
Gassing. Excessive, causes milky appearance of electrolyte 86
Gassing of sulphated plates 40 and 75
Gassing on charge 37? and 202
Granulated negatives 78
Granulated negatives. Caused by age 78
Granulated negatives. Caused by heat 78
Gravity. (See Specific Gravity).
Grids. Casting 9
Grids. Composition of 9
Grids. Corroded 77
Grids. Effect of age on 78 and 80 and 342? (344)
Grids. Effect of defective grid alloy on 73
Grids. Effect of impurities on 77 and 78 and 80 and 342
Grids. Effect of overheating on 78 and 80 and 342?
Grids. Resistance of 48
Grids. Trimming 10


Handling and mixing acid 222
Heating of negatives exposed to the air 78
High rate discharge testers 181
High rate discharge tests 266 and 267 and 374
Home-made batteries 25
Hydrogen and compressed air lead-burning outfit 147
Hydrogen and oxygen lead-burning outfit 146
Hydrometer. What it consists of 60
Hydrometer readings. Effect of temperature on 65
Hydrometer readings. How to take 61


Idle battery. Care of 67
Idle battery. How it becomes discharged 89
Idle battery. How it sulphates 70
Illuminating gas and compressed air lead-burning outfit 149
Impurities 76
Impurities which attack the plates 77
Impurities which cause self-discharge 76
Incoming batteries. Examining and testing 317
Incoming batteries. General inspection of 320
Incoming batteries. Operation tests on 320
Incoming batteries. When it is necessary to open 326
Incoming batteries. When it is necessary to remove from car 325
Incoming batteries. When it is unnecessary to open 325
Incoming batteries. When it is unnecessary to remove from car 324
Installing battery on the car 236
Internal resistance 48 to 50
Isolators 408
Inspection to determine height of electrolyte 55


Jars. Construction of 16
Jars. Filling with electrolyte 364
Jars for farm lighting batteries 436
Jars. Manufacture of 16
Jars. Materials used for 16
Jars. Removing defective 359
Jars. Testing, for leaks 356
Jars. Work on 356
Jar troubles caused by explosion in cell 83
Jar troubles caused by freezing 83
Jar troubles caused by improperly trimmed groups 83
Jar troubles caused by loose battery 82
Jar troubles caused by rough handling 82
Jar troubles caused by weights placed on top of battery 83


(No Entries)


Lead burning cell connectors 213
Lead burning. Classes of 211
Lead burning. Equipment for 97 and 143
Lead burning. General instructions for 210 to 220
Lead burning plates to straps 217
Lead burning terminals 213
Lead burning. Safety precautions for 213
Lead melting pots 220
Lead mould 164
Lead moulding instructions 220
Light for shop 187 and 190
Loose active material 75
Loose active material caused by buckling 76
Loose active material caused by overdischarge 75
Loss of capacity 88
Loss of charge in an idle battery 89
Lugs. Extending plate 219


Manufacture of batteries 9 to 26
Manufacture of batteries. Assembling and sealing 23
Manufacture of batteries. Auxiliary rubber separators 15
Manufacture of batteries. Cases 22
Manufacture of batteries. Casting the grid 9
Manufacture of batteries. Composition of the grid 9
Manufacture of batteries. Covers 16
Manufacture of batteries. Drying the pasted plates 12
Manufacture of batteries. Forming the plates 12
Manufacture of batteries. Home-made batteries 25
Manufacture of batteries. Jars 16
Manufacture of batteries. Materials used for separators 14
Manufacture of batteries. Mixing pastes 11
Manufacture of batteries. Paste formulas 11
Manufacture of batteries. Pasting plates 11
Manufacture of batteries. Philco slotted retainer 15
Manufacture of batteries. Post seal 16
Manufacture of batteries. Preparing batteries for dry shipment 24
Manufacture of batteries. Separators 14
Manufacture of batteries. Terminal connections 25
Manufacture of batteries. Treating separators 14
Manufacture of batteries. Trimming the grid 10
Manufacture of batteries. Vent plugs 22
Manufacture of batteries. Vesta impregnated mats 15
Mechanical rectifier 131
Melting pot for lead 220
Mercury-Arc rectifier 129
Milky electrolyte 206
Motor-generators 106 to 112
Motor-generators. Care of 110
Motor-generators. Operating charging circuits of 109
Motor-generators. Sizes for small and large shops 106
Motor-generators. Suggestions on 108
Moulding instructions 220
Moulding materials 220
Moulds. 164 to 170
Moulds for building up posts 165
Moulds for burning lead sticks 164
Moulds for cell connectors 168
Moulds for plate straps 167 and 169
Moulds for terminal screws 168


Negative plates. Changes at, during charge 39
Negative plates. Changes at, during discharge 37
Negatives. Bulged 79
Negatives. Granulated 78
Negatives. Heating of, when exposed to the air 78
Negatives with roughened surface 79
Negatives with softened active material 79
Negatives with hard active material 79
Negatives. Washing and pressing 351
New batteries. Putting, into service 224
Non-sulphating Eveready batteries 402


Open-circuits 86
Open-circuits. Caused by acid on soldered joints 86
Open-circuits. Caused by broken terminals 86
Open-circuits. Caused by poor lead burning 86
Opening batteries. Equipment needed in 97
Opening batteries. Heating sealing compound 332
Opening batteries. Instructions for 328
Opening batteries. Pulling elements out of jars 333
Opening batteries. Removing connectors and terminals 329
Opening batteries. Removing post-seal 331
Opening batteries. Scraping compound from covers 334
Opening batteries. When necessary 326
Opening batteries. When unnecessary 325
Operating conditions. Effect of, on capacity 44
Overdischarge causes sulphation 69
Oxides used for plate pastes 11
Oxygen and acetylene lead burning outfit 143
Oxygen and hydrogen lead burning outfit 146
Oxygen and illuminating gas lead burning outfit 146


Packing batteries for shipping 271
Painting case after bench charge 203
Paraffine dip pot 182
Paste formulas 11
Pastes. Applying to grids 11
Patent electrolytes 59
Philadelphia radio batteries 260
Philadelphia starting batteries. Age codes for 243
Philadelphia starting batteries. Old type post seal for 398
Philadelphia starting batteries. Putting new, into service 228
Philadelphia starting batteries. Rubber cases for 401
Philadelphia starting batteries. Rubber-Lockt seal 399
Philadelphia starting batteries. Separators for 402
Plante plates 27
Plante's work on the storage battery 27
Plate burning-rack 162
Plate lugs. Extending 219
Plate press 171
Plate strap mould 167 and 169
Plate surface area. Effect of, on capacity 42
Plate troubles 69
Plates. Burning, to straps 217 and 355
Plates charged in wrong direction 81 and 343
Plates. Examining, after opening battery 337
Plates. Sulphated 342
Plates. When old, may be used again 344
Plates. When to put in new 339
Positives. Buckled 80 and 341
Positives. Changes at, during charge 40
Positives. Changes at, during discharge 37
Positives. Frozen 80 and 339
Positives. Rotted, and disintegrated 80 and 341
Positives. Washing 354
Positives which have lost considerable active material 80
Positives with hard active material 81
Positives with soft active material. 80
Post builders 165
Post building instructions 218
Post seal 17
Post seal. Exide 19
Post seal. Philadelphia 399
Post seal. Prest-O-Lite 386
Post seal. Titan 434
Post seal. Universal 430
Post seal. U.S.L. 18
Post seal. Vesta 413
Post seal. Westinghouse 417
Post seal. Willard 424 to 428
Posts. Burning, to plates 217
Pots for melting lead 220
Pressing plates 171
Piest-O-Lite farm lighting batteries 460
Prest-O-Lite farm lighting batteries. Descriptions 460
Prest-O-Lite farm lighting batteries. Opening cells 464
Prest-O-Lite farm lighting batteries. Putting repaired cell into
service 465
Prest-O-Lite farm lighting batteries. Rebuilding 464
Prest-O-Lite farm lighting batteries. Specific gravity of electrolyte
Prest-O-Lite radio batteries 262
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Age code for 244 (Omitted)
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Peening instructions for 395
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Old style covers for 386
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Peened post seal for 386
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Peening posts of 391 and 394
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Peening press for 390
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Post locking outfit for 388
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Putting new into service 233
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Rebuilding posts of 393
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Removing covers from 392
Prest-O-Lite starting batteries. Tables of 396 (Omitted)
Primary cell 5
Purchasing methods 299 (Omitted)
Putting new batteries into service 224


(No entries)


Radio audion bulb 253
Radio batteries 252
Radio batteries. Exide 257
Radio batteries. General features of 255
Radio batteries. Philadelphia 260
Radio batteries. Prest-O-Lite 262
Radio batteries. Universal 263
Radio batteries. U. S. L. 261
Radio batteries. Vesta 256
Radio batteries. Westinghouse 259
Radio batteries. Willard 257
Radio receiving sets. Types of 252
Rebuilding batteries 328 (to rest of chapter 15)
Rebuilding batteries. Adjusting electrolyte 373
Rebuilding batteries. Burning-on cell connectors 371
Rebuilding batteries. Burning-on plates 355
Rebuilding batteries. Charging rebuilt batteries 373
Rebuilding batteries. Cleaning 329
Rebuilding batteries. Cleaning and painting the case 372
Rebuilding batteries. Determining repairs necessary 335
Rebuilding batteries. Eliminating short-circuits 348
Rebuilding batteries. Examining the plates 337
Rebuilding batteries. Filling jars with electrolyte 364
Rebuilding batteries. Heating sealing compound 332
Rebuilding batteries. High rate discharge test 374
Rebuilding batteries. Marking the repaired battery 372
Rebuilding batteries. Preliminary charge 349
Rebuilding batteries. Pressing negatives 351
Rebuilding batteries. Pulling plates out of jars 333
Rebuilding batteries. Putting elements in jars 362
Rebuilding batteries. Putting on the covers 365
Rebuilding batteries. Reassembling the elements 361
Rebuilding batteries. Removing connectors and terminals 329
Rebuilding batteries. Removing defective jars 359
Rebuilding batteries. Removing post seal 331
Rebuilding batteries. Repairing the case 360
Rebuilding batteries. Scraping compound from covers and jars 334
Rebuilding batteries. Sealing double covers 366
Rebuilding batteries. Sealing single covers 371
Rebuilding batteries. Testing jars 356
Rebuilding batteries. Tightening loose elements 363
Rebuilding batteries. Using 1.400 acid 364
Rebuilding batteries. Washing negatives 351
Rebuilding batteries. Washing positives 354
Rebuilding batteries. When old plates may be used again 344
Rebuilding batteries, When to put in new plates 339
Rebuilding batteries. Work on jars 356
Rectifier. Mechanical 131
Rectifier. Mercury are 129
Rectifier. Stahl 132
Rectifier. Tungar 113
Reinsulation 274
Relations between chemical actions and electricity 31
Rental batteries. General policy for 251
Rental batteries. Marking 249 and 296
Rental batteries. Record of 251
Rental batteries. Stock card for 297 (Omitted very simple chart)
Rental batteries. Terminals for 248
Reversed plates 81 and 89
Reversed-series generator. Adjusting 290


S. A. E. ratings for batteries 45
Safety first rules 275
Safety precautions during lead-burning 213
Screw mould .... 168
Sealing around the posts 17
Sealing compound. Composition of 150
Sealing compound. Equipment for handling 149
Sealing compound. Heating with electricity 333
Sealing compound. Heating with gasoline torch 333
Sealing compound. Heating with hot water 332
Sealing compound. Heating with lead burning flame 333
Sealing compound. Heating with steam 332
Sealing compound. Instructions for heating properly 150
Sealing compound. Removing with hot putty knife 332
Secondary cell 5
Sediment. Effect of excessive 87
Separator cutter 171
Separator troubles 81 and 346
Separators for farm lighting batteries 438
Separators. Improperly treated, cause unsatisfactory negative-cadmium
readings 181
Separators. Putting in new 274
Separators. Storing 273
Separators. Threaded rubber 430
Service records 293
Shedding 74
Shedding caused by charging only a portion of the plate 75
Shedding caused by charging sulphated plate at too high a rate 74
Shedding caused by excessive charging rate 74
Shedding caused by freezing 75
Shedding caused by overcharging 74
Shedding. Normal 74
Shedding. Result of 74
Shelving and racks 152
Shipping batteries 271
Shop equipment 95
Shop equipment for charging 100
Shop equipment for general work 98
Shop equipment for lead-burning 97
Shop equipment for opening batteries 97
Shop equipment for work on cases 98
Shop equipment for work on connectors and terminals 98
Shop equipment which is absolutely necessary 96
Shop floor 186 187?
Shop layouts 187? 189 to 196
Shop light 190? 191
Short-circuits. Eliminating 348
Single covers. Scaling 371
Sink. Working drawings of 144 and 145
Specific gravity at end of bench charge 203
Specific gravity. Changes in, during charge 39
Specific gravity. Changes in, during discharge 35
Specific gravity. Definition of 60
Specific gravity. Effect of, on capacity 43
Specific gravity in farm lighting cells 438
Specific gravity. Limits of, during charge and discharge 43
Specific gravity rises above 1.300 205
Specific gravity rises long before voltage on charge 205
Specific gravity should be measured every two weeks 60
Specific gravity. What determines, of fully charged cell 438
Specific gravity. What different values of, indicate 60
Specific gravity. Why 1.280-1.300 indicates fully charged cell 43
Specific gravity will not rise to 1.280 204
Specific gravity readings. Effect of temperature on 65
Specific gravity readings. How to take 61
Specific gravity readings. If above 1.300 318 and 323
Specific gravity readings. If all above 1.200 318
Specific gravity readings. If below 1.150 in all cells 318 and 321?
Specific gravity readings. If between 1.150 and 1.200 in all cells 318
and 321?
Specific gravity readings. If unequal 318 and 322
Specific gravity readings. Troubles indicated by 63
Stahl rectifier 132
Starting ability discharge test 267
Steamer 158
Steps in the use of electricity on the automobile 1
Storage battery does not "store" electricity 6
Storage cell 5
Storing batteries dry 240
Storing batteries wet 239
Strap. Burning plates to 217
Strap mould 167 and 169
Sulphate. Effect of, on voltage during discharge 32
Sulphation. Caused by adding acid 72
Sulphation. Caused by battery standing idle 70
Sulphation. Caused by impurities 72
Sulphation. Caused by low electrolyte 71
Sulphation. Caused by overdischarge 69
Sulphation. Caused by overheating 72
Sulphation. Caused by starvation 71


Temperature. Cause of high, on car 324
Temperature corrections in specific gravity readings 65
Temperature. Effect of, on battery operation 66
Temperature. Effect of, on capacity 46
Temperature of batteries on charging bench 202
Terminal connections 25
Terminals. Burning-on 213
Terminals for rental batteries 248
Testing and examining incoming batteries 317
Testing and filling service 291
Testing the electrical system 276
Third brush generator. Adjusting 289
Threaded rubber separators 430
Time required for bench charge 203
Titan batteries 432
Titan batteries. Age code for 245 (Omitted)
Treating separators 14
Trickle charge 239
Trimming plate grids 10
Trouble charts 321
Troubles arising during bench charge 204
Troubles. Battery 69
Trucks for batteries 173
Tungar rectifier. Battery connections of 127
Tungar rectifier. Four battery 119
Tungar rectifier. General instructions for 126
Tungar rectifier. Half-wave and full-wave 114 and 115
Tungar rectifier. Installation of 126
Tungar rectifier. Line connections of 127
Tungar rectifier. One battery 117
Tungar rectifier. Operation of 128
Tungar rectifier. Principle of 113
Tungar rectifier. Ten battery 120
Tungar rectifier. Troubles with 128
Tungar rectifier. Twenty battery 122
Tungar rectifier. Two ampere 116
Tungar rectifier. Two battery 118
Turntable for batteries 170


Universal radio batteries 263
Universal starting batteries 430
Universal starting batteries. Construction features of 430
Universal starting batteries. Putting new, into service 431
Universal starting batteries. Types 430
U. S. L. radio batteries. 261
U. S. L. starting batteries. Age code for 246
U. S. L. starting batteries. Special instructions for 382
U. S. L. starting batteries. Tables of 384 (Omitted)
U. S. L. vent tube construction 20


Vent plugs should be left in place during charge 209
Vent tube construction 20
Vesta radio batteries 256
Vesta starting batteries 408
Vesta starting batteries. Age code for 246246
Vesta starting batteries. Isolators for 408
Vesta starting batteries. Post seal 413
Vesta starting batteries. Putting new, into service 227
Vesta starting batteries. Separators 413 and 415
Vesta starting batteries. Type D 409
Vesta starting batteries. Type DJ 412
Vibrating regulators. Adjusting 290
Vinegar-like odor. Cause of 205
Voltage. Causes of low 321
Voltage changes during charge 38
Voltage changes during discharge 32
Voltage, limiting value of, on discharge 34
Voltage of cell. Factors determining 34
Voltage of a fully charged cell 203
Voltage readings at end of bench charge 203
Voltage readings on open circuit worthless 177
Voltaic cell 4


Wash tank. Working drawings of 144
Water. Condenser for distilled 160
Westinghouse farm lighting batteries 498
Westinghouse radio batteries 259
Westinghouse starting batteries 417
Westinghouse starting batteries. Age code for 247247
Westinghouse starting batteries. Plates for 418
Westinghouse starting batteries. Post seal for 417
Westinghouse starting batteries. Putting new, into service 231
Westinghouse starting batteries. Type A 418
Westinghouse starting batteries. Type B 419
Westinghouse starting batteries. Type C 420
Westinghouse starting batteries. Type E 420
Westinghouse starting batteries. Type F 423
Westinghouse starting batteries. Type H 421
Westinghouse starting batteries. Type J 422
Westinghouse starting batteries. Type 0 422
Wet batteries. Putting new, into service 225
Wet storage 239
What's wrong with the battery 313 to 327
When it is unnecessary to open battery 325
When may battery be left on car 324
When must battery be opened 326
When should battery be removed from car 325
Willard farm-lighting batteries 502
Willard radio batteries 257
Willard starting batteries. Age code for 247
Willard starting batteries. Bone-dry 24
Willard starting batteries. Putting new, into service 229
Willard starting batteries with compound sealed post 424
Willard starting batteries with gasket post seal 428
Willard starting batteries with lead cover-inserts 424
Willard threaded-rubber separators 430
Working drawings of bins for stock 158
Working drawings of charging bench 134 to 139
Working drawings of flash-back tank 147
Working drawings of shelving and racks 153 to 157
Working drawings of shop layouts 189 to 196
Working drawings of steamer bench 161
Working drawings of wash tank 144 and 145
Working drawings of work bench 140 and 141


(No entries under X, Y or Z)



(Table of) Contents



THE following pages show how Batteries are made at the Factory. The
illustrations will be especially interesting to Battery Service
Station Owners who have conceived the idea that they would like to
manufacture their own batteries.

A completed battery is a simple looking piece of apparatus, yet the
equipment needed to make it is elaborate and expensive, as the
following illustrations will show. Quantity production is necessary in
order to build a good battery at a moderate cost to the car owner, and
quantity production means a large factory, elaborate and expensive
equipment, and a large working force. Furthermore, before any
batteries are put on the market, extensive research and
experimentation is necessary to develop a battery which will prove a
success in the field. This in itself requires considerable time and
money. No manufacturer who has developed formulas and designs at a
considerable expense will disclose them to others who desire to enter
the manufacturing field as competitors, nor can anyone expect them to
do so.

If the man who contemplates entering the battery manufacturing
business can afford to develop his own formulas and designs, build a
factory, and organize a working force, it is, of course, perfectly.
proper for him to become a manufacturer; but unless he can do so, he
should not attempt to make a battery.

The following illustrations, will of course, be of interest to the man
who repairs batteries. A knowledge of the manufacturing processes will
give him a better understanding of the batteries which he repairs. The
less mystery there is about the battery, the more efficiently can the
repairman do his work.

[Photo: Casting Exide Grids]
[Photo: Pasting Exide Plates]
[Photo: Casting Small Exide Battery Parts]
[Photo: Forming Exide Positive Plates]
[Photo: Burning Exide Plates Into Groups]
[Photo: Cutting and grooving Exide wood separators]
[Photo: Charging Exide batteries]
[Photo: Mixing paste for Prest-O-Lite batteries]
[Photo: Moulding Prest-O-Lite Grids]
[Photo: Inspecting Prest-O-Lite grids for defects]
[Photo: Prest-O-Lite pasting room]
[Photo: Pasting Prest-O-Lite plates]
[Photo: A corner of Prest-O-Lite forming room]
[Photo: General view of Prest-O-Lite assembly room]
[Photo: Power operated Prest-O-Lite peening press]
[Photo: Inspecting Prest-O-Lite separators]
[Photo: Inserting separators in Prest-O-Lite plate elements]
[Photo: Final inspection of Prest-O-Lite batteries]
[Photo: Prest-O-Lite experimental laboratory]
[Photo: Laboratory tests of oxides for Vesta batteries]
[Photo: Moulding Vesta grids]
[Photo: Preparing Vesta plates for the forming room]
[Photo: Burning Vesta plates into groups.  Assembling groups with
[Photo: Vesta acid mixing room]
[Photo: Checking and adjusting cell readings of Vesta batteries on
        development charge]
[Photo: Final assembly inspection of Vesta batteries]
[Photo: Trimming Westinghouse grids]
[Photo: Pasting Westinghouse plates]
[Photo: Burning Westinghouse plates into groups]
[Photo: Packing Westinghouse batteries for shipment]
[Illustration: AMBU Official Service Station]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Automobile Storage Battery - Its Care And Repair" ***

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